I wonder how many times we go about our daily lives as if we were wearing blinders. We’re so focused on whatever task, whatever business is at hand that we fail to see the much larger picture which is full of grace and beauty. This past Sunday we took a look at the story of Jesus appearing to the two followers of his on the road to Emmaus. I can see them in my mind’s eye - depressed, downcast, eyes centered on the road five feet in front of them. Jesus shows up and they still can’t seem to tear their eyes away from their despair. It was only when they sat down to eat and Jesus broke bread with them, forcing the two men to focus on something other than their own problems, that they saw Jesus for who he was. Perhaps this is a model for us. If we want to learn who Jesus really is, we need to step away from our daily concerns and focus on him. Just a thought - Pastor John.
Last Sunday (April 19, 2020) we took a look at the very familiar story of Jesus’ appearance to Thomas. The disciple frequently labeled “Doubting Thomas” (John 20:19-29). In John’s gospel, it’s the second time Jesus appeared to the disciples behind locked doors. Jesus insists that Thomas touch his wounds to prove that the man before him is in fact the Risen Lord. So often we take this story at face value. Jesus allowed Thomas to touch the wounds in order that he might believe in the resurrection. A much deeper question though is why did Jesus still have wounds? Why didn’t God “fix him up” before his resurrection appearances. The first church I served had twelve beautiful stained glass windows said to have been imported from Belgium. One of the windows showed Jesus as the Good Shepherd complete with staff and lamb in his arms. Only close inspection revealed the wounds in his hands and feet. It is the wounded Christ who is the Good Shepherd. His injuries remind us that Jesus doesn’t wait for us to be completely whole before he comes to us. Jesus’ wounds remind us that he has experienced the same pain and loneliness, the same abandonment and despair that we feel. Jesus is the Word made flesh who dwelt among us experiencing all of the highs and lows of human existence. Regardless of where we are in our walk of life, Jesus has been there and more than that - he cares. He cares about each and every one of us. So much so that he willingly endured unimaginable pain and suffering and the humiliation of the cross in order that through him each of us might find salvation. Thanks be to God!
Greetings in Christ! We would like to welcome you to the Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church website and blog. Rev. Hallman will be checking in on a regular basis to give you a weekly glimpse at the upcoming service of worship and offer words of support and encouragement. We hope you are blessed by Christ through this ministry and continue to be kept safe in His presence during this difficult time. If you need pastoral care, please contact Rev. Hallman via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
God be with you till we meet again
By His counsels guide uphold you
With His sheep securely fold you
God be with you till we meet again!