The three Sundays after Easter share “resurrection stories” following Jesus’ death on the cross and the discovery of the empty tomb. I have to think that Jesus’ disciples must have been a mess in those early days after the crucifixion…grieving, afraid, confused, uncertain. They must have been asking themselves, “What happened to Jesus?” “And what will become of us?” There were rumors and reports of Jesus showing up here and there, talking to the women, making his way through closed doors, sharing a meal with a few on the road to Emmaus. Who knows what raced through their minds and hearts as they tried to hold all this information together! Was this all the result of intense longing for a lost loved one or perhaps a ghostly visitation or was it possible that Jesus was again, in bodily form, among them?
Into the midst of this angst and struggle, Jesus comes to the disciples with a word of greeting, “Peace be with you.” He then emphasizes the fact that he’s there in the flesh. Jesus invites them to touch him…something they couldn’t do if he was a ghost! And then he does something equally delightful…he asks for a snack. They get him a little leftover fish and find themselves “joyful, disbelieving and still wondering.” Isn’t that a great description? How often are we, just like those early disciples, a mix of joy and disbelief and wonder? As people who live with the knowledge of profound hurt in this world AND the knowledge of God’s redeeming work and love, I would have to say that we are often a mix of joy and disbelief and wonder! And just as he did with those early disciples, we trust that Jesus also speaks words of peace into our hearts, into our midst. Jesus turns our minds and hearts, our eyes and ears back to the truth we know, opening them again and again. And Jesus reminds us that we are now witnesses…those who can share this truth with others.
Scripture passage: Luke 24:36b-48
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