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It is I, Myself

April 14, 2024 - Rev. Dr. Jan Remer-Osborn

Preaching from the lectionary is both a blessing and  a…..challenge.  We pastors know what we are preaching about in advance, but sometimes the stories seem to repeat.   Last week’s doubting Thomas in John for which luckily you had a different preacher and today’s scripture in Luke, both talk about an encounter with Jesus whom nobody recognizes.

Luke makes clear that Jesus was not a ghost, a spirit, or a resuscitated corpse. He is a real person with a body who eats.  We too, like his disciples, often have difficulty embracing this as truth. Jesus says, “Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself.”

This scripture, Lutheran pastor Jacob Meyers suggests, can be understood as a summary of Jesus’ life and ministry. Key words and phrases stand out:  Peace, fear and doubt, It’s me, Anything to eat? Scripture, and Proclaim.

Another Lutheran pastor, Lucy Lind Hogan, invites us to share the disciple’s experience. We come with our doubts, confusions, fears, and misunderstandings. Through worship we meet the risen Christ. In listening to scriptures and the preached word we are given understanding about the good news of what God has done and is doing. We may eat with Christ, in Holy Communion.  The Holy Spirit brings light to the darkness of our souls, opens our eyes, hearts, and minds, energizing us to proclaim the amazing news of Christ and fulfill his mission.  Jesus is clear on the fact that “repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations…”

But, to do all of this, it is essential that we first have a meaningful encounter with Jesus.  Meet up with Jesus one on one. So that we will know in the core of our beings that Jesus is God and that he is here for us, cares for us, loves us, and walks through the valley with us. Take the risk. Believe. Surrender. Repent.

Perhaps, today, we did learn everything we need to know about Jesus from our scripture. We are the disciples of Jesus. We are truly blessed.  Thanks be to God. Amen.

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