Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

This is Personal.

John 20:1-18   2 Chronicles 31   Psalm 87

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!'” (John 20:16). The risen Jesus speaks Mary’s name, and in that moment she recognizes him . . . King Hezekiah contributes to the Lord’s ministry “from his own possessions” (2 Chronicles 31:3) and instructs every citizen to do the same . . . The people respond by giving “in abundance,” (v.5) and “in heaps” (v.6-8) . . . And the psalm writer envisions the Lord registering the peoples and noting, “This one was born” in Jerusalem (Psalm 87:6) . . .  The word in each of the day’s readings is that faith is personal.

“And every work he undertook . . . he did with all his heart” (2 Chronicles 31:21). The words are intimate, indicating that Hezekiah was personally — and wholly — invested in seeking and serving God. The same intimacy is communicated in the story of Mary and Jesus in the garden. And in the report that the disciple “whom Jesus loved” (v.2) “saw and believed” (v.8). Far beyond being a matter of “fact” and “head knowledge,” faith is essentially a relational reality, in which a person invests heart, mind, soul, and strength in knowing and being known by — in loving and being loved by — God in Jesus Christ. This is personal. But it is not private . . .

“I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18). Mary, having been instructed to “go” and tell the others, did so, speaking from personal experience. And Hezekiah, leading by example, called upon his people to join him in personal commitment. Personal does not mean private. God loves the whole world, and those who love God with their all their hearts will invest themselves personally in the service of inviting others to personally enter the story and join the song. May we be personally and wholly devoted to God, who loves us and knows us by name. And may we follow Mary in going public with the good news of God with us. Amen.

“Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.”
— John 20:18

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