Tue Apr – 16 Jesus Appears to the Disciples

Luke 24:38(CEB)

38 He said to them, “Why are you startled? Why are doubts arising in your hearts?


Our scripture was spoken to the Disciples by Jesus after meeting two of his disciples on the Emmaus Road when Jesus met the eleven disciples and their companions. Jesus spoke these words just after appearing in their midst making them think at first that they were seeing a ghost. He then told them to look at his hands and feet, to touch him, reminding them that ghosts don’t have flesh and bones. He asked for something to eat, was given a piece of  baked fish and ate it in front of them.

Once their awe and curiosity abated Jesus opened their minds to understand what scripture said, even then, about him. Words profoundly impacting yet so simple,  “This is what is written, Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and a change of heart and life for the forgiveness of sins must be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Look, I’m sending to you what my Father promised, but you are to stay in the city until you have been furnished with heavenly power.”

We have been talking about doubts and faith in and around the Season of Lent. Today I would like to focus on Living Faith. Listening to God’s call and responding in ever deeper ways that change our lives and the lives of others.

Our guest preacher this past Sunday was Rev. Dr. Bruce Main, founder and head of Urban Promise, who is always a motivational speaker. If you did not have the opportunity to hear his message it is very inspiring, and I  want to encourage you to watch/listen to it on the MUMC app, if you have that on your phone, or at the MUMC web site, go to Worship and grab the podcast.  

Bruce shared two stories. The First was about Jeff Peterson, a person who reached out to Bruce after Urban Promise was featured in a 2007 Sunday evening program on CBS where Dianne Sawyer was the interviewer. Jeff was impacted by what Urban Promise was doing and when he learned that Bruce was coming to California he asked Bruce to meet him at his restaurant. Bruce came and Jeff asked how he could help and ended up offering to do a large fundraiser in California. It went well and clearly Jeff was following Urban Promise efforts.

A year later Bruce and Jeff meet again, and Jeff asks what can I do now, I want to do more. This time he pays to drill wells in Malawi, Africa to give the people access to fresh water. Jeff is so moved by what he sees happening, people in deep need being helped, that the men keep connecting and Jeff’s heart is increasingly committed. Jeff went to Malawi to see for himself the people and the needs. As he went deeper and deeper with his faith he experienced God in new ways and found his life and values changing.

A second story about the program, “Feed My Starving Children,” and a local woman in Haddonfield who felt a calling to help starving children headed a small group that grew to assemble hundreds of thousands of  food packages for starving children. Bruce asked this woman what the ability to fill this great need meant to her and whether the experience has changed her? The answer, her wants and life values have changed significantly, and she has felt God’s presence more closely.

by Clarence Beverage

For Pondering & Prayer

Do you see any parallel between your life and the lives of the Disciples at this time in scripture? Great disappointment, and also great wonder and joy at seeing, for the first time, a new way forward, a new calling?

How about Bruce Main’s stories? Do they help you to feel that life is finite, and God is calling you to something? It doesn’t have to be a hard thing at all, but which will make you stronger, more fulfilled and meet a need.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we see that the world can be full of need, tumultuous, overwhelming, and consuming. Help us to hear your voice, see your presence, and find new strength in you. In that new strength help us to find  balance and the ability to carry your Love more fully in us and to those around us. Amen

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