The Lord is Risen Indeed!

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24)  Cleopas and his friend were saying this to each other after they realized the stranger on the road, the one who walked alongside them from Jerusalem to Emmaus was in fact, Jesus himself!  Two people full of despair and hopelessness, even despite the rumor of good news found that Easter morning at the tomb by the women disciples, suddenly find themselves walking seven miles to Emmaus with a stranger, a man they didn’t recognize.  And this man simply listened to them and took to heart their struggles, and then he opened up the treasure chest of hope and eternity to their hearts.  But it wasn’t until they gathered around the table to break bread and share the cup that Jesus was revealed to them, and they came to life with renewed hope, joy, and love. This is our journey and this is why we gather together at this place as we do, week after week.  The Eastertide is upon us and we are once again reminded that death has been conquered and life eternal abounds; that in death new life springs forth.  Of course, this does not mean that we will no longer face struggles and challenges.  In fact, they are all the more present. But what this does mean is that like Cleopas and his friend, we are traveling the journey, and we are doing it together as Jesus calls us to do, and not alone; and on this journey we bring all sorts of things upon ourselves – placing unnecessary burdens in our lives.  Church is not a burden, it is the place where we learn to gather well; it is the place where we commune with God and each other; it is the place where we bring the burdens, place them before the Lord at the altar, experience the Easter revelation of Christ through the breaking of bread, and then go forth into the world, sharing the hopeful, life-giving news!  As they said, and we now profess:  “The Lord has risen indeed!”

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