By now, I hope that you’ve all received the “Introducing Pastor Mary” letter and information about my previous ministry experience. Even people with the most active imaginations I’m certain would have never imagined meeting under such extraordinary circumstances as we now find ourselves experiencing! Yet, thanks to the wonders of technology, we are still able to ‘meet,’ for worship, Bible study, prayer and for what Martin Luther called the “mutual conversation and consolation” of the fellowship of God’s people. Personally, for all the many experiences I’ve had over decades of serving in ordained ministry, did I ever think I’d be conducting a worship service in my living room in front of a computer?
During these times of ‘social distancing’ and with so many us ‘sheltering in place’ I have been experiencing the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in an entirely different way than ever before. After the crucifixion, a group of disciples are huddled together in fear and Jesus comes and stands in their midst bestowing on them a message of peace even as he gives them a message to move out in mission. Two disappointed disciples travel the road to Emmaus discussing the awful events that have just transpired in Jerusalem only days before and Jesus joins them on the road, shares a meal with them and is revealed to them ‘in the breaking of the bread,’ and then with images and words, He promises to be with them and in all circumstances give them the gift of abundant life.
This promise of abiding presence provides a balm for the fearful and hope for His disciples then … and now. As we seek and find new ways to be Christ’s followers and embody new ways to serve Him and our neighbors during these extraordinary times, we can be assured of the Lord’s presence. Because no matter what, or come what may, the Risen Lord Jesus will continue to be with us.
I look forward to joining you as we navigate these new ‘post-resurrection’ roads with each other and with the powerful presence of our Risen Lord.
Alleluia! Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!
---Peace, Pastor Mary