Easter’s Afterglow

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That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.  24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. – Luke 24:13-27

Dead Tree Among the Living | Hawaii | March 2022

Our Easter has been quite different. For the first time in 46 years Diane and I celebrated our Lord’s resurrection separately. She was at St. John, singing in the choir – a commitment she had made weeks ago. I was at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Conroe, Texas serving as their vacancy pastor. I was able to be back home by noon and enjoyed an Easter meal with our oldest son and his family. 

I’ve spent the last couple days watching The ChosenThis well-done and touching video drama about the life of Jesus Christ introduces Jesus and the calling of his initial disciples. I highly recommend this multi-season, multi-episode historic film.

I’m basking in the afterglow of Easter. The joy of Jesus’ resurrection is fresh in my heart. The hymns. The readings. The lilies. The people. The message. The promise. The hope. 

But it is not always so. The joy of Easter too quickly fades. We get stuck in the doldrums. And it can happen so very quickly. Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Of course they have an excuse. All they have is the report of the women (hardly seen as reliable witnesses in those days). Oh, yes, they had Jesus’ prophetic words. And the promises of the Old Testament. 

When Jesus joined them on the road their eyes were kept from recognizing him. Jesus instructs them once again. This is God’s plan. It wasn’t their plan. They couldn’t see how good could have come from Jesus’ death. Their hopes were crushed.

Right now I’m basking in the Easter joy afterglow. But there will come times of confusion, discouragement, and disappointment. Thank God Jesus shows up. Thank God he’s more faithful than my weak faith. Some difficult things may be necessary. But Jesus reigns. For me, now this is enough. 

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