Some might say we are in a rut. When I think of the word “complacency” that’s the first thing that comes to mind. Like the fact that it took social distancing and staying at home for me to finally clean our basement! A two-day process that left us with a well-organized basement and the elimination of some things I hadn’t seen in decades. I was too complacent with accepting the way my house had become a virtual storage unit.
But I have noticed other forms of complacency during these last few weeks. The fact with social distancing, I now wave at anyone on a walk. Our neighborhood is one that extends from Wesleyan University to the south to Havelock on the north. And generally, now people wave like they do in a small town. They can be driving by in their cars and trucks and if they see me wave, they grin and wave back (although this may have something to do with my white hair and their thoughts that I am just a crazy old lady). In this time, I had become complacent with my fellow man. Not even noticing that this had happened. This is one thing that I hope changes to a new normal.
Pastor Eric brought to mind that complacency can bring on the fear of trying to change. The idea that when we become comfortable with “things the way they are.” We don’t want them to change and that fear makes us afraid to try. For me, this is anytime my computer indicates the need for an update. I keep thinking, “this is going to be complicated, let’s just leave things the way they are”. I am afraid of change. It was hard enough to see that Christ had risen from the dead for his disciples. Can you imagine one of your departed loved ones coming back to life?
The passage is full of the richness of understanding. It also lets us see the incredible patience of Jesus. He sees their fear and sees it for what it is. Fear of what comes next. And I love the next part of this passage that says, he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Would this happen for us? Asking God to be patient with our struggles in everything we do is a “given”. Fear of the unknown is part of life. Staying in one place (metaphorically) never gets you anywhere. Stepping out in faith moves us to greater understanding. But this, too, is a process that won’t happen without direction from the Holy Spirit. Guidance and a sincere desire to seek his understanding of not only scriptures but how our world can be a better place.
Please open our hearts and minds to the Scriptures as you did for the disciples. Forgive our fear of the unknown at this time. Your mercy and patience are imperative to our growth, and comfort to our lives. Let us find rest in our time with you and the courage to reach out for a new understanding of your word. And let us be brave in our ability to share this knowledge with our world. Let Christ be seen in me today Lord. Amen.
Written by Fran Baatz
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as see I have.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Fran is happily married with two daughters, and now four grandchildren and one great-grand daughter! She was an army brat growing up (which means she moved a bit) and her parents (Francis and Orpha Jimenez) were charter members of Sheridan Lutheran Church. She was also the first girl baptized in the church in 1953, so she has been at Sheridan a long time.
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