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"From the Pulpit" - April 14, 2024

"From the Pulpit" - reflections on the weekly texts, from Pastor Greg at Living Lord Lutheran Church


Luke 24:36b-48

36b Jesus himself stood among [the disciples] and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 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.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.

44 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.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 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, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.”


"Go Ahead...Eat Already!"

Here we are, in the third Sunday of Easter, and we're still with Jesus as he has gathered with his disciples, showing them the marks on his body, inviting them even to touch them, so they may believe.  Can't you completely understand their hesitancy. Their uncertainty with it all. I mean, who's seen a dead person come back to life, right?  Well, perhaps figuratively, but not literally.


But here Jesus is, inviting them, almost pleading with them, to touch his nail holes, hoping this will convince them that he had indeed been resurrected from the dead.  I love verse 4 here, "While in their joy, they were disbelieving and still wondering..."  Conflicted. Confused. And then, Jesus goes on to ask them for something to eat. Jesus shares what he has to offer - "my peace", assurance that in his rising the Scriptures had been fulfilled.  And the disciples share what they have - food.  Some broiled fish.  Each shared with the other what they had to offer.


In this scene, I see us, and every other Christian church on Sunday morning, enacting the same thing.  We come to worship, bringing all of our doubts, our worries, our problems and joys of our lives.  And Jesus meets us where we are. In all of our real world cares and worries and joys, he shares his body and blood with us.  And more often than not, at that communion rail, or in whatever setting Communion is offered, the believers and non- believers alike leave, filled, satisfied, assured, even if only for a little while, that Jesus was present in that place, in that time.  


Around this meal in that setting with his disciples, and around that communion rail on Sunday mornings, all come to belief. All leave satisfied that Jesus has been present.  They have been touched by the divine! And it's a beautiful feeling.  I often ask Sunday mornings about God moments in our lives.  Things we've seen or heard during the week where we've felt the presence of the Risen One.  And while it goes unspoken mostly, every Sunday, around our meal of grace at the rail, is indeed a God moment. A moment when we encounter the Risen Christ. Intimately. In bread and wine. And what a moment it is! So, go ahead this Sunday or any Sunday - eat already!  Amen.


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