Jesus himself stood among the disciples and their companions and said to them, "Peace be with you." They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you-- that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things." Luke 24:36b-48
Today the morning light in Montana is breathtaking. Bright and brisk, it welcomes all of us to rise up and be joyful. The crisp, clear mountain air and the snow capped majestic mountains make one think nothing but spectacular. And immense gratitude for the beauty and gift of this new day. There are days when everything is socked in and we can barely see the sunlight, but it is always there, whether we can see it or not, whether we want to rise up and be joyful, or not.
The disciples were a frightened mess of traumatized human beings. They had seen horrors and loss beyond measure. Their core faith had been tested and shattered. Fear had crept in and taken hold of them. Like all normal human beings, they had lost sight of the promises in the midst of such great loss. We all do from time to time. Jesus ate with them, comforted them and moved them from panic and fear to insight and deeper faith. The trials they had faced became the firm foundation of their lives going forward. We are invited to see Jesus coming to us in the midst of our many fears, trusting that we will see beyond these scary moments and be surrounded by deeper love.
Today I ask God to open my eyes and deepen my faith. May we trust that even in the midst of our great traumas and fears, God incarnate stands with us and we will be made new by this loving presence today.
O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.