Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me… and you know the way where I am going. Thomas said to him: ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus answered him: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’”
- John 14:1-7
Do you remember old road atlases and maps? When I was little, I remember unfolding a map that came from the local Texaco station, and being unable to refold it properly, much to my father’s annoyance! Several year ago, Susan bought me an atlas of the State of Indiana. I have always loved maps, globes and geography, but this atlas was of special value; it showed the route of railroads throughout the state including abandoned routes that I was searching for. What a find! But what about the route Jesus promises us? Most of us, like Thomas, have asked: Where is the road; how will I know the way? Do we have a road map to God that we can follow?
In conversation with several people who would be classified as “people of a certain age”, aka senior citizens, each one noted how time seems to be passing by at an ever increasing rate. These conversations caused me to reflect on my own perspective on time and events. Since I passed into AARP territory myself several years ago, I am finding many of these perspectives on time to be increasingly true. Thinking back on my high school years, time seemed to move so slowly. It took forever every year for summer vacation to arrive. In those “long” school years, the usual drama and worries that any teen experiences dominated my thoughts, energies and emotions. Now that I am older, I can see how trivial and dumb the things I worried about were. The challenge from those years is to learn the correct lessons and apply them to my life as an adult, while discarding what was not important. What have we learned on our Lenten journeys? Are we still following him as closely and intimately?
In worship, the emphasis has been on the challenge we all face after any major holiday; staying in the “way.” In the Christian calendar, we have concluded Lent with the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Are you wondering: what happens next? I repeat several points I have made, for I believe they are key to answering that question. After any big event, there is the big let down. Easter usually means a time of preparation for family functions and traveling. But it seems to be over rather quickly. Maybe we don’t have our priorities in the right order? I have stressed that the empty cross and the empty tomb are only the beginnings of the Easter story. Do we still have the empty tomb and the Risen One on our minds, in our hearts? How do we keep focused on the Lord? May is another busy month with other “holidays” such as Mother’s Day and Memorial Day rapidly approaching, then the ending of school and the beginning of summer. Somehow the empty tomb loses its priority in our lives. This shouldn’t be.
I find that staying in the scripture, staying in tune with the church through worship, while paying particular attention to the church lectionary, will insure that we travel together with Christ to our next destination.
What lies ahead? We will see real life changing events such as Christ restoring the disciples after their failings, the spread of the good news, and the birth of the Church. We will also see a miraculous conversion on an angry religious zealot. Do you want to be part of the real life experience of Jesus Christ? Are you searching for a deeper walk with the Risen Lord? Then I invite you to travel with us as the Body of Christ as we learn and experience what happens next. Are you ready to move beyond the empty tomb and be empowered as a witness of the Risen King? Come, Join with Us!
He is Risen!