Reflection from Pastor Hoffman
Six weeks ago, we began our journey into this alternate reality known as “physical distancing due to COVID-19.” Six weeks ago, we threw our calendars out the window, and with them all that we thought we knew about what the future might hold. For six weeks we have kept our distance, sequestering ourselves at home, donning face masks to protect ourselves and those around us. But even six weeks is not long enough to adapt to life in this alternate reality, and it’s just the beginning of trying to process the shock and grief of it all.
Because we are human. We figure out how the world works, who and what we can trust, and how to live in it. When our world is turned upside down, it takes time to figure those things out in our new reality.
In our gospel this week, we meet two disciples who also had their world turned upside down, not by a global pandemic, but by the resurrection of Jesus. Suddenly, they now live in a world where the dead don’t stay dead. And they don’t immediately know what to believe, who to trust, or what it all means.
I am so grateful that our Holy Scriptures include stories like last week (the story of so-called Doubting Thomas) and this week (the disciples on the road to Emmaus). These post-resurrection accounts affirm what I have experienced to be true: that coming to believe in the resurrection of Jesus is not one-size-fits-all. It’s a journey.
But this week’s gospel reminds us that it is not a journey we take alone. Jesus meets us on the road. Sometimes, he shows up as a traveling companion. Someone who listens to our grief and pain. Someone who hears our questions and doubts, who walks with us in our confusion and uncertainty. Someone who shares wisdom and insight, who helps us connect the dots and make sense of what we’re experiencing. Jesus shows up, whether we recognize him or not.
In the midst of the confusion, uncertainty and questions that fill our days, the good news of Easter is that the risen Christ meets us on our life’s journey. By the grace of God, may our eyes be opened to recognize him!
~ Pastor H.