“Christ Among Us”
So much emphasis is put on Easter morning that we often forget that Easter is a liturgical season lasting seven weeks. In fact, the entire year has an Easter focus since we worship on Sunday. We worship each Sunday to honor the day that Jesus rose from the dead. In the Bible, Saturday is the established day of worship and rest, but the early Church moved our worship day to Sunday in order that we would never forget that we are in the presence of the living Christ!
On April 18th, we will explore the third of three Easter stories given to us in Luke’s gospel. The point of this story, which takes place in the evening, is to remind the disciples and to remind us that Easter brings us a Christ who is always with us. When the story begins, the disciples feel all alone in the world and utterly abandoned by God. Have you ever felt that way? Surely, we can relate to their fears and their feelings. But, when they thought all was lost, Jesus appears in their midst. Hope is restored. They now knew that when Jesus had once said to them that he would be with them forever, he meant it. This was their Easter joy!
What Easter brings us is the immanence of God which means that God is always with us and among us through the gift of the resurrected Christ and the Holy Spirit. The ancient Celtic Christians understood this aspect of God. The beautiful prayers that they have left behind show their belief that God was all around them and God could be found in every living thing – in the landscape of sea and mountain, bog and forest, in the rising and in the setting of the sun, in the rhythms of the seasons and in the rhythms of life. Everything and everyone were sacred because of God’s immanent presence. We will experience one of those ancient prayers on Sunday morning.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Joe McGowan, Guest Preacher
Luke 24: 36-49 [New Revised Standard Translation]
While Cleopas and his friend were talking with the disciples, Jesus himself stood among them and said to his disciples, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, Jesus showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”