I am writing this BLOG soon after the disaster that occurred in Washington DC on January 6th. This was to be a day when Congress would ceremonially approve the votes of the Electoral College. Instead, we watched as our screens displayed the destruction of Democracy at the very symbol of that institution.
2020 brought us a year of politics, unrest, distrust, separation, and loneliness. And yet we are still struggling into 2021 with the worst pandemic in our lifetime. Friends and family members have passed, others are struggling to survive. We are staying away, isolating ourselves and wearing mask or any item that offers some type of protection. Churches are empty and drastically changing the way they worship. Small businesses have closed and going out to the restaurant has changed.
Luke 24: 13-14 ESV
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened.
I find myself struggling with the appearance of what it means in this new World, to be a Christ follower. Questions come to mind; why does God allow this to happen, what it means to be a Christian, is God punishing us? Questions coming from church leaders; will my people come back to live church, does it affect their walk if they do not, or am I trusting God based on having live or online Church?
Luke 24: 15-16 ESV
While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
I had the privilege of taking with a 9-year-old back in December and he ask this question, “Why do we celebrate New Year’s?” He continued with his thought, “We have a new day every day, we have a new month, so what makes a new year special?” At 9 years of age, what great struggle has he faced in those years? He is not spoiled yet he has all he needs. His parents are always available to swoop in and resolve his deepest concerns, like when his sister takes his Lego Star Wars pieces. Can he appreciate Hope when he has not lived through gut wrenching disappointment?
Luke 24: 17-18 ESV
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. 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?”
How could there be anyone who does not feel the hurt and pain that 2020 brought our way. So, when we celebrated the New Year, it was with hope that 2021 will bring more joy in our life. What effort have we placed in the process to see improvement? To this point in my writing, the effort has been misplaced and the results demonstrate more wishful thinking than it does truth. You see, true Hope requires Grace, Love, Kindness, and absolute Truth!
Luke 24: 19-20 ESV
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, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death and crucified him.
For many Americans we have an understanding of the Truth of Jesus. He was a man of good works. Few find fault in the words that He said. Every Easter they hear the story of this man who was crucified and rose from the grave. Is it just wishful thinking that someone died for us? And that in some way this death could bring peace inside the events that have transpired and now seem to continue.
Luke 24: 24 ESV
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.
They wished that Jesus were the one, the one to redeem Israel. They even heard the stories that Jesus was not in the tomb and yet still walked back home. They had lost Hope, not even wishful thinking was going to change their outlook. They stood still looking sad when Jesus questioned them regarding the events of the day. For the remainder of that walk, Jesus spoke from the prophets and yet still they did not know who it was that shared these amazing truths concerning Himself. As they made their way to their homes; He is invited in for dinner. Jesus breaks the bread, and all the sudden Hope was restored to their homes. They saw Jesus for who He truly is, our Savior and soon coming King.
Romans 8: 24-25 ESV
For in this hope, we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.