April 2018 Message for Congregations and Lay and Rostered Leaders
Dear Beloved of God –
I love the account of Jesus journeying on the road with two of his followers to Emmaus.
Their hearts are heavy with grief. As they walk they are talking with each other about all that had taken place, and while they were walking and talking, Jesus comes to them and walks with them.
“What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” Jesus asks. “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” “What things?” And the conversation continues. And then Jesus, beginning with Moses and all the prophets, interprets to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
Invited to stay with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him…and they returned that hour to Jerusalem to the eleven and their companions. Then they shared what had happened on the road, and how Jesus had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
In our increasingly polarized world, amidst fears both known and unknown, Jesus our risen Lord continues to walk with us and to make His presence known in the breaking of the bread.
Eugene Peterson in his book, Practicing Resurrection, writes: “The practice of resurrection is not a do-it-yourself self-help project. It is God’s project and God is engaged full time in carrying it out. Grace is everywhere. God is Christ is actively doing for and in us everything involved in the practice of resurrection. So, what is there left for us to do? Receive. Receive the gift.”
May we, this Easter, once again recognize our Risen Lord, Jesus, walking with us – opening our hearts and minds to God’s living Word – and filling us with the hope and peace that surpasses our human understanding.
In Christ Jesus – Shalom,
+Bishop Larry Kochendorfer