Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sounds like Jesus

"While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be with you.'"
Luke 24:36

When Jesus first appears to the gathered disciples the first words he says to them are of peace. And that just sounds like Jesus, doesn't it? When I hear Jesus speaking to me in my head I run the conversation through a little reality filter. I ask myself, Does that sound like Jesus? Is that something Jesus would say, based on what Jesus has already said? Are the words loving and inclusive? Is Jesus speaking comfort and peace? That isn't to say that Jesus doesn't challenge me at times. Sometimes I hear suggestions that I know sound like Jesus because they are loving and difficult! The love is always there, but the request may be nudging me out of myself or my own comfort zone.  And that sounds like Jesus. Today, as we go about our April Thursday, let's listen carefully for the sound of Jesus' voice. The words will likely be words we have read from Jesus...words of peace, comfort, and love. Words of including those on the fringe, scooping up the weary, loving the difficult-to-love. And the words will just sound like, heidi

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

We were hoping...

"We were hoping..."
Luke 24:21

As the disciples walk the road to Emmaus, a mysterious stranger joins them. They are sad about the death of Jesus and they wonder how this stranger has not heard of the events of the past few days. "We had hoped..." they said in another scripture translation. They had hoped things would have turned out differently. Can't we say that about so many things in history? As we look back on this date fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. I was just a kid, but I remember the tumultuous times so vividly. Every time there was a special news bulletin on TV, someone had been assassinated. The year would continue its tragic spiral until we couldn't imagine what could happen worse. There are certainly aspects of these times right now that remind me of back then. "We had hoped..." What can we do with these feelings of hopelessness? Well, we can walk with the disciples along the road and recognize our traveling companion. They recognized Jesus later, in the breaking of the bread, and we have that advantage, too. We must turn to the Source of our healing when feelings of hopelessness seep into our minds during difficult times. Martin Luther King took his strength from the Gospel and we must too.  Today as we commemorate such a sad time in our history and appreciate the nonviolent mission of Martin Luther King Jr.,  let us ask God to show us how we can help right our world today. Our desire is for peace and justice for ALL people throughout the world, as we are ALL brothers and sisters, the children of God. Love heidi

Monday, April 2, 2018

Jesus shows up...

"Christ returns to his physical body, and yet he is now unlimited by space or time and is without any regret or recrimination while still, ironically, carrying his wounds."
Fr. Richard Rohr, Daily Reflection, 4/1/2018

I was sick all weekend so had plenty of time to ponder the resurrection in a NyQuil haze.  What does it mean to us that Jesus was raised from the dead anyway? What difference does it make? What does it tell us? I think it means that Jesus can be very present to us wherever we happen to be and whoever we happen to be. If we look in the Gospels, Jesus sought after those on the fringe and didn't just hang out with the "good" or well-behaved people. And I believe Jesus is still doing that now, in his risen body. Jesus can be with the pope at the Vatican or with me on the porch at the hermitage. Jesus can be with us no matter where we are when we need him; at a doctor's office or driving through a snowstorm in Wyoming. Jesus is available in his risen form to be with us whenever and wherever we need him to be. I remember a powerful scene in a movie (can't remember the movie title, sorry!) where, after the resurrection, one of Jesus disciples was in a room alone and distraught. Jesus appeared, in his risen form, in the doorway.  If I remember nothing else from that movie, I remember Jesus showing up and that image sticks with me. So, the the resurrection for me can be summed up in three words...Jesus shows up.  Blessed Easter everyone! (Oh, and remember Easter lasts fifty days--ten days longer than Lent! So, you Lent lovers, get your party on!) Love, heidi