A Congregational Letter to Morgan’s Point and Forks Road East United Churches
In today’s Gospel lesson from Luke 24:36b-48, it is not enough that the tomb is empty. It is not enough to proclaim, “Christ is risen!” It is not enough to simply believe in the resurrection. At some point, we have to move from listening to the event of the resurrection - to experiencing the resurrection, itself, in our hearts. Christ’s resurrection invites us to open our hearts to His new life within us. That is the gift of Easter.
In today’s scripture, Cleopas, and his companion, are telling the other disciples how Jesus appeared to them on the road to Emmaus. Just then, Jesus shows up, out of nowhere, interrupting their conversation, and saying “Peace be with you.” The disciples see Jesus, they hear his voice, but they think they are seeing a ghost. They know Jesus was crucified, he died, and was buried. They also know, dead men don’t come back to life. So, this can only be a ghost. They are unable to recognize the holiness of Christ that stands among them. They do not understand that resurrected life can never be comprehended, contained, or controlled by human thought, or understanding. It must be entered into through the divine reality.
In that new reality Jesus says to his disciples, “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.” Then “he showed them his hands, and his feet.” After this, he ate a piece of broiled fish in their presence. Flesh and bones, hands and feet, and broiled fish are the things of creation. The resurrected life of Christ, it seems, is revealed in, and through, the created order. It is not, however, bound by the created order. In last week’s gospel Jesus’ hands and feet, his flesh and bones, passed through walls and locked doors. Thus, the resurrected body and life of Christ unite humanity and divinity. On the one hand, Jesus has a real body. On the other hand, His body is not subject to the natural laws of time and space. It is a new and different reality.
The degree to which we have allowed ourselves to be bound by the created order is the degree to which we are unable to see resurrected life, and holiness in this world. In binding ourselves to the created order, we lose recognition of, and the ability to live, in the sacred. That is the very opposite of resurrected life. The resurrected life of Christ reveals that all creation, and every one of us are filled with God’s holiness and divinity. The resurrected life is not acquired, it is received when we ask Jesus, the Christ, our Lord and Savior, into our hearts. Let us live out this resurrected life of ours with immense joy, and gratitude, today, and always.
Let us, also, continue to pray for one another every morning at 10:30, remembering that God grants us wisdom, love, and peace as we hold each other in God’s tender keeping. Much love and care to you all. Keep well and safe.
God’s Blessings, Pastor Laura