Do you remember welcoming in the New Year with all the celebration and elevated expectations for business, ministry and family that went with the countdown to 2020? It seems that was over a year ago already! The year is particularly significant in the life of Faithful Fathering as it is our 20th year of ministry. Expectations were high.
Then, early in the new year, we started hearing about this novel coronavirus that was percolating in the far-off city of Wuhan, China. The first case of Covid-19 in the United States was diagnosed in the state of Washington on January 20th, a gentleman that had returned from visiting family in Wuhan five days earlier. By February, it was labeled a pandemic as it spread to Europe and Latin America. Across March, many cities and states went into lockdown mode trying to impede the contagion. Today, much of the nation is at a standstill – Not in line with anyone’s expectations for 2020!
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, … They were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him. He asked, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” He asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him; but we had hoped that He was the One who was going to redeem Israel.” – Luke 24:13-21. For these men, hope was grounded in the expectation that Jesus would step into the role as a Davidic king and that all would be right in the world. After all, Peter, James and John said His Father had effectively anointed Him as a king at the transfiguration they witnessed. Now, with Jesus’ death on the cross, those expectations had turned to despair. The “rest of the story” is that Jesus conquered death, walked out of the tomb that first Easter morning and indeed ushered in a new Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Worldly expectations were exceeded through the power of the resurrected Christ and the subsequent indwelling of the Holy Spirit now in every believer!
As Christians, Easter is a wonderful time of expectation. Whatever our circumstances, however tough our week is, nothing compares to what Jesus dealt with the last week of His life in the flesh. Then He walked out of the tomb! This year’s Easter celebration will be different as most churches are not gathering as usual. Instead of telling the kids to be quiet during church, there is an opportunity to have real time dialogue around the spirituality of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The Lord’s expectation is for dads to lead spiritually by leading spiritual discussions in family. I pray His Light will illumine your home in a powerful way this Easter.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your word and for walking out of the tomb. I confess that my early expectations of life as a Christian were not grounded in Your word. Forgive me. Help me live into the expectation You have of me, that I lead spiritually by example in my family. Be with me as I turn to Your word (Luke 22-24), read the Easter story as a family and lead discussion around Your life, death and resurrection. Help me glorify You through this time, this unique opportunity to enjoy church in our home. Amen.
A faithful father embraces Jesus’ expectation to lead spiritually in family.