Have you seen?
"As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;" (Luke 24:15)
I love this account of two disciples walking to Emmaus! I love the way Jesus walked with them, taught and encouraged them, even when they didn't recognize Him. (v. 16) There had been a lot happening then - Passover, Jesus' death on the cross, and the women reporting an "empty tomb" (He IS RISEN!!). No wonder the two "talked and discussed" as they were walking!
One song, from way back(!), has been going through my mind as I studied this Scripture. "Have You Seen Jesus, my Lord?" is from back in the 70's I think. But it reminds me of today as we "shelter in place" with everything going on and the changes we are making. There is confusion, there are changes and none of us are sure what is going to be happening next. Kind of like the two disciples walking to Emmaus! So........ Have you seen Jesus, my Lord? He's here in plain view...."
In the midst of the confusion, the changes and the uncertainty of the future we can have God with us -- Emmanuel. The chorus of this song is: "Have you seen Jesus, my Lord? He's here in plain view. Take a look, open your eyes He'll show it to you." Have you seen Jesus, my Lord?
"In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach..." (Acts 1:1)
So many things changing, so quickly, including the seasons - which is happening a little slower at least here in MN. All the changes can make it difficult to take care of ourselves as we are taking care of others. The time schedule gets so full of so many things it is hard to remember our own needs let alone make sure we actually take care of them. We need to remember, however, how important it is to take care of ourselves - mind, body and Spirit - so we can continue to take care of the others.
The writer of Acts is probably also the writer of Luke. In this verse he is telling Theophilus about the "former" book (Luke) and reminding about what Jesus did. People tend to think Theophilus is a particular person. The translation, however, of Theophilus is -- Beloved of God. The writer is reminding ALL of us of God's Love and care. A gentle reminder to each, and all, of us that Scripture is like a love letter from God.
Yes, things are changing. Yes, schedules are busy. Yes, things are crazy and difficult. God IS still speaking to each of us, calling us "Beloved," and asking us into a closer relationship. We are, even here in MN, approaching the spring planting season. It would be good to be planting God's Word in our hearts and minds - spending TIME with God. Try it - you might like it!
April 12th, 2020
"Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"" (Mark 16:2-3)
HE IS RISEN!! And the response, in a loud, clear voice, is "He is risen, indeed!!" We are celebrating the RISEN Lord even as we are sheltering in place. We are celebrating even when we can't be "in worship" or with family. We can do this as we listen to worship on the radio, watch it on TV or connect to worship on line. There are many ways to celebrate this Easter morning. I also know several churches who will be having the "Easter" celebration the first Sunday we can all be in worship again - I know we will be doing it that way.
Meanwhile, as Caregivers, what are the "stones" we might need help with? Who do we go to for the 'stone to be rolled away'? Are we, can we ask for the help? Will we allow God to provide someone TO help? These are interesting questions to be asking ourselves - especially now when it is more difficult for people to be able to help. There are resources available for us, however, from our families, from our denominations and from outside sources like AARP. The difficulty is in the asking!
The women, on the "first day of the week" didn't know who would help. We DO!!! HE IS RISEN!! Our Lord and Savior IS WITH US - Emmanuel!! A lot of things may be cancelled, or postponed but Easter isn't! We may have another celebration worship, when we can be together again, but we can continue to celebrate the empty tomb because that has NOT been changed or cancelled. We know where our main source of help comes from! God IS WITH US! HE IS RISEN!
"Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted 'Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'" (Mark 11:9)
So many things have happened! We are now recording worship, uploading and watching in our homes as we "shelter in place." For some of us we are "sheltering" with our care receivers but for many of us we can't even visit them "in person." Many of us are learning new things with technology (although I still threaten to throw it out through the window at regular intervals!) to be able to stay in touch with said receivers AND with loved ones. Some are doing "parades" to be able to "drive by and wave" at families. Many are doing green branches (for Palm Sunday) and 'bears in the windows'.
All of which is causing schedule changes - which can be difficult on "good" days. We, as Caregivers, are being put to even greater challenges as we deal with the changes AND giving care and helping our receivers adjust to all the changes happening. Even this post is later than I usually post because of a schedule change I have for today. Changes, difficulties, stress, fear and even some anger all add to the frustration we feel which in turn depletes our strength.
So instead of pulling the covers over our heads I'm suggesting a "parade." A parade where we are also saying (singing?!) "Hosanna!" A parade where we are remembering our Lord IS our strength and IS with us. The very first parade (Mark 11) was a "pick up" parade as they entered Jerusalem. Why don't we have a "pick up parade" around our houses celebrating Palm Sunday AND God's love for each and all of us.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.