When It All Falls Down

Hello church family, this is Pastor Phil!

Our reading for this Sunday is from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 24, verses 25-35. (I would encourage you to read the whole chapter of Luke 24 here). This passage occurs after the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Morning with two of Jesus’ disciples walking away from Jerusalem on the road to Emmaus, sad and confused about Jesus’ crucifixion and not really believing anything they had heard about his Resurrection. Jesus walks with them on the road, but they don’t recognize Him, and He asks them why they are so sad. After they explain everything that had happened to Jesus and what they had hoped for, the following happens. 

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 

So, they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So, he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

I have been extra tired this past month and a half. I’ve heard the same thing from a lot of my friends and from many of you as well. I was talking about this to my best friend, Anne, who’s working from home in St. Louis. We were just like, “man, I’m exhausted.” It doesn’t seem to make a difference if we’re still able to work somewhat like usual, or if we’re working from home like I’ve been doing, or if were laid off, or trying to take care of things at home, everyone seems to feel extra tired right now. I know I do. 

If you do, or if you’re feeling down, slightly lost and misplaced, not sure what tomorrow will bring, a little bit worried and don’t know what to do with yourself, or you’re pretty sure sweatpants have become your new dress code, you’re not alone and this is completely normal. It feels like the things that we have been using to give us a sense of direction and keep us grounded are all changed about. 

When it all falls down.

When we feel these ways, often we are in shock, we are grieving, and we are trying to find something solid again to get our bearings. 

You’re pretty sure sweatpants have become your new dress code

Shock happens when a trauma occurs to a person. Not only physical trauma, but emotional and psychological trauma as well. Learning and seeing the very real effects of a pandemic where we live and being afraid for our loved ones and ourselves is a trauma in and of itself. Our bodies try to recover from the stress reaction. It is emotionally and physically draining and leaves us exhausted.

Then there’s that sense of grief. Grief is working through what this new reality in our life looks like now that someone or something isn’t there anymore. This sense of grief, of figuring out what life looks like now, takes time, is hard work and yes, it is exhausting. 

            All of this is a normal reaction to getting hit with a major traumatic event. What we’re trying to do is find our sense of identity, security, and meaning once again in this new life situation. So, we’re tired. But also angry, cranky, moody, goofy, and trying to keep busy. All of it is a way of coping.

            This is exactly what those disciples on the road to Emmaus were feeling. They had been with Jesus, seen his miracles, and believed in Him, but didn’t really understand Him–not yet, anyway. They had built their lives around Jesus and now he was gone after a horrible crucifixion and their world was crumbling all around them. Then, some of the disciples were saying crazy things about seeing Jesus resurrected. They didn’t know what to do with themselves when they heard this– they were in shock, they were grieving, and they were trying to find some solid ground. 

            What I love is that Jesus doesn’t wait around for lost and confused disciples to find Him. Jesus doesn’t wait for them to somehow find out that what they had wanted, and had thought was lost, was always there in Jesus.

Jesus came to them and showed them, “look I’m still here, your world isn’t crumbling down around you. I’ve got you like I always have!” Then he takes the disciples to the places he has always promised to be, in His Word and Sacraments. Those places and that person, the Savior Jesus, never forsake us or leave us. 

Jesus doesn’t wait around for lost and confused disciples to find Him.

            We are walking down our own Emmaus Road right now, feeling like the world is crumbling down all around us, feeling so lost, in shock and grief, just wanting something solid. I want you to know that in all of the change, Jesus hasn’t changed. Jesus doesn’t wait for us to get our act together either, but promises to be where He has always been. In His Word and His Sacraments. In your life. No matter what other craziness is going on in your own head, you can find your rest and peace in Jesus’ unchanging presence. 

            Please remember, especially, as you find your rest in Jesus, to be patient with those in your life and all around you. They are going through the same feelings you are. It might not look the same for them as it does for you, but it is the same underneath. Please, love each other well and be patient with each other, as Jesus loves and is patient with us. 

Published by philipmcclelland.org

​I am a recovering burned out workaholic​ who forgot I couldn't change the world. From the ashes of that not only have I found a peace from God that I never knew but a focus on what matters, God, family and loving my neighbor as God has loved me. My burning out experiences really drive my writing and how much I want to share all of the good God has worked through the hurt I've experienced. Currently I serve a great little parish in Northern Ohio with my wonderful family and our furry farm of five dogs, four cats and the oddball handful of fish. You can find me at www.philipmcclelland.org.

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