Pastor Bill Schnackenberg, Centralia United Methodist Church
Have you noticed how life has changed over the past few months? I know that’s a rhetorical question because everyone’s life and activities have been modified to some extent.
There are those who have had to stay home, isolated physically from friends and neighbors. There are others who have had to go to work, often exposing themselves and their families to the potential of getting sick. And then there are those somewhere in between.
Our way of doing things changed quickly and without much warning!
Where do we turn when the world as we knew it dramatically changes, when everything seems to fall apart? When our sense of community is threatened?
The disciples of Jesus faced just such an upheaval in their lives too. Their leader, their Lord and Messiah was suddenly gone – tortured, executed, and entombed. All their hopes were suddenly dashed. They had hoped for a dramatic change in all that was around them – the conditions of their lives. They had hoped for a revolution in their society that would give them back a king and a kingdom, like “the way it used to be” in King David’s time. But that didn’t happen.
When Jesus began appearing to the disciples, it was not to change their circumstances. Jesus’ appearances were meant to change the disciples, their hearts and minds and even their outlooks. His appearances were meant to give them hope and courage so that they could then go out from their locked rooms, from their despondency and despair, in order to bring God’s message of reconciliation and forgiveness to all people everywhere.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard