This is my classmate Katya who is an Orthodox Christian from Russia. Katya has an amazing voiceâ€”the best I have ever heard in real life. She can sings anything from a deep voice like Louis Armstrong in What a Wonderful World to an angelic choir voice which she does regularly at her church. She has an excellent control over her vocals even though she has never taken any singing lessons! Her voice is a true gift from God because she is a very, very talented singer and it is true joy listening to her sing.
The godly women in the Bible are amazing. Just few weeks ago I was thinking about Hanna, the prophet Samuelâ€™s mother. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 1:10-11,
“And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, â€œO LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.â€ 1 Samuel 1:10-11
This was not an easy prayer for any woman to make…giving up her only child. But God heard her prayer and honored her sacrifice. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 1:19-20,
“Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, â€œBecause I have asked for him from the LORD.â€ 1 Samuel 1:19-20
And we all know what a great man of God the prophet Samuel grew up to be. If you have a longing of your heart that you feel it is past due and you are ready to give up remember that the Lord remembered Hannaâ€™s prayer in in the course of time.
Another godly woman from the Bible that amazes me is Mary Magdalene. At the arrest of Lord Jesus Christ the Bible says in Mark 14:50,
“Then they all forsook Him and fled.” Mark 14:50
Three days later while the disciples locked themselves in together for fear of persecution, Mary Magdalene and few other women went to the tomb to anoint the body of the Lord. When Mary found the tomb empty she run to the disciples and told them. The apostle Peter and another disciple went back to the tomb and found it empty as Mary has told them. Then comes one of my favorite parts in the Bible, John 20:10-18:
Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, â€œWoman, why are you weeping?â€ She said to them, â€œBecause they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.â€ Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, â€œWoman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?â€
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, â€œSir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.â€ Jesus said to her, â€œMary!â€ She turned and said to Him, â€œRabboni!â€ (which is to say, Teacher). John 20:10-16
Mary Magdalene wasnâ€™t crying because Jesus had died and her dreams of a ruler who will liberate the Jews from the Roman empire were dashed. She didnâ€™t cry because her hopes of having a high position in His Kingdom werenâ€™t coming true. She didnâ€™t cry because of fear of persecution. She didnâ€™t even cry because He was dead (even though I am sure she did.) She cried because they had taken her Lord away.
How many of us would cry if something so tragic happened in our lives that made us feel or believe that God is dead. For Mary it wasnâ€™t her tragedy that made her cry, no, she wept because she has lost her Lord and she missed Him. I think if we could interview Mary Magdalene today about that moment she would say, â€œI would have given it all…but give me Jesus.â€ Isnâ€™t this what Christianity should be about? When we have Jesus, suddenly all the promises of the world seem like junk. When we have Jesus all that it takes to make us joyful is the name â€œJesusâ€.
I believe Mary just missed Jesus. She missed her daily walk with Him in those couple of years (see Luke 8:1-3). You know, following Jesus wasnâ€™t boring because Jesus took His disciples from one place to another and He did amazing miracles in their presence. Why is our daily spiritual life boring? Why do we want to settle down? Why are we scared of miracles? Mary wasnâ€™t scared and her love and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ was honored because she was the first evangelist as the Bible continues to say in verses 17-18 of John 20:
“Jesus said to her, â€œDo not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, â€˜I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.” Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.” John 20:17-18
Today we also can share the joy of Mary because the Lord is alive and can sing with her…
Jesus is alive
Death has lost its victory
And the grave has been denied
Jesus lives forever
He’s alive! He’s alive!
Heâ€™s the Alpha and Omega
The first and last is He
The curse of sin is broken
And we have perfect liberty
The lamb of God is risen
He’s alive, He’s alive!
Jesus is alive!
Jesus is Alive – Ron Kenoly