Week of: April 26, 2020
Scripture: Luke 24:13-35
"And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?"
(Luke 24:17-18, NRSV)
I don't want to assume what your life has been like the last several weeks (though I have a pretty good hunch), but for me, it's been a weird, surreal, painful, confusing, and really, really strange Lent and Easter. Many of my friends and colleagues have not been able to celebrate worship in person for weeks. Many have had to cancel concerts, recitals, art shows, outreach events, and Holy Week series that have been in the works since well before Christmas. Does that include you? It includes me, and it's heartbreaking.
I don't feel like it's Eastertide. I'm not yet ready to believe the Resurrection story. I'm on the road to Emmaus, traveling with one companion (six feet apart, obviously). I'm standing still, looking sad. Where to begin, Jesus? My artistic designs were dumped in the trash. My folk band rehearsals, my dance classes, my altarscapes, my Easter lily orders ... don't you get it, Jesus?
And Jesus says, "Oh, I do get it. I'm here. I'm on the road with you. I'm leading you toward bread and juice. I'm leading you toward new kinds of community and ministry. I'm with you in the grief. And I'm leading you toward a new kind of Eastertide."
May we take all the time we need to stand still, looking sad. May we also experience the risen Christ speaking to us, side-by-side with us, through it all.
God of Eastertide, help us grapple with our stories of both grief and resurrection. Help us hear your voice on the road. Help us find new life again. Amen and amen.
Rebecca Garrett Pace
Director of Worship
White Rock United Methodist Church
Photo: A path alongside Lake Junaluska. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)