Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church—May 1, 2014
Jesus appeared to his disciples several times during the forty days following the Resurrection. Sometimes he would just show up in the midst of them as they were in a locked room. Once they came upon him cooking fish on the beach. Often they didn't recognize him until he called one of them by name, or gave some other indication of his identity, like showing them his wounded body. In the story about the journey on the road to Emmaus, he appears as a stranger walking along the same road. They get into long conversation about the events surrounding Jesus death and resurrection, and the disciples invite this stranger to stop with them and share a meal. Luke tells the story this way:
"...So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, 'were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scripture to us?'" Then they went back to Jerusalem and told the others what they had seen and heard. You can read it all here:
"Were not our hearts burning within us...?" I am convinced it happens to us as well. We have encounters with the Holy, and often only realize it was indeed Holy only after the fact. The relationship, the conversation, the meeting, the story, the piece of music, the artwork, the song of a bird or the laugh of a child... all of these can be encounters with the Holy. Often unrecognized, even more often passed over as unimportant. Yet each one offers a gift of God's Grace, if only we pay attention.
May we all be blessed by such encounters in this Easter season and beyond, and may we have the courage not only to recognize them, but to spread them to the world. "Spread the Good News o'er all the earth: Jesus has died and has risen! Alleluia!" (#178, Hymnal 1982)
Peace and blessing, Carol+
The Rev Canon Carol Horton Rector, St Thomas Episcopal Church Pittstown NJ 08867 908-996-4091
"For the love of God is broader than the measure of the mind..."
-Frederick William Faber