Church leaders from all over the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division are gathered in Harare, Zimbabwe for their 2019 year-end Executive Committee (EXCOM) meetings. The meeting gives the leaders a chance to deliberate on various issues pertaining to the work that is being done in this region. The organizers of the meeting have also ensured that participants are enriched spiritually by having inspiring devotions as part of the program.
For the sabbath program, General Conference Vice President, Artur Stele was the guest speaker selected to give the divine hour message. His message was mainly based on Matthew 28:5-8 which states, “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you. So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.”
He reminded the leaders that upon the resurrection of Jesus, the angel at the tomb encouraged the “two Marys” to go quickly and tell the disciples that the Messiah was risen. This was in spite of the fact that the disciples had betrayed and left Him in His time of need. We too are prone to forsake Jesus, but even in that state, He still wants and encourages us to be part of the Great Commission. Further reflecting on the resurrection, Elder Stele reiterated that in the same breath that the Jews had placed a human seal on the entrance of the tomb to ensure that the Life Giver stays in there forever, the devil is still dead set on placing seals on our minds by reminding us of our past mistakes. This in turn deters us from the focus on mission. However, all hope is not lost as Jesus reminds us that all power on heaven and earth has been given to Him. He has the power to break any chains that we may find ourselves entangled in. The promise still holds. He is with with us to the end of the age.
Just as the two women were instructed to “go quickly” to deliver the good news to the disciples, may we too “run quickly” with the good news to a dying world that is thirsting for the saving power of Jesus.