Going Deeper 04.16.21

The Gospel reading for the Third Sunday of Easter... Luke 24:36b-48

While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “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, he 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 he 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.

Hear Jesus speak to you: "Peace be with you." Into the fears and uncertainties of life, Jesus speaks "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?" We might answer, "Lord, we fear and have doubts because we cannot see Your hands and feet, we cannot 'touch...and see' You as these first followers did. We have not sat with You and had You directly open our 'minds to understand the scriptures.'"
 
Yes, we are among those Jesus spoke about in last Sunday's Gospel story, responding to Thomas: "Blessed are those who have not seen yet believe." This is why what we heard in last Sunday's message from Pastor Ryan about the TRUTH OF EASTER is so important. The fact of the matter is that there is very, very strong evidence for the truth of Jesus' death and resurrection. Not irrefutable, yet very strong.
 
Still fears and uncertainties are sometimes part of our journey of faith. During those times we do well to seek the Holy Spirit, to pray as we open the scriptures that our Lord will open our minds to understand and to believe. We do well to open our mouths to receive the very body and blood of Jesus offered in, with, and under the bread and wine of the Sacrament. We do well to gather with our family in Christ to receive and celebrate these gifts.
 
Christ has risen indeed! Hallelujah!!
 
Mark Gabbert, Pastor
 
Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington
"Gratefully Growing Servants"