Friday, April 2, 2021

To Wonder and Wander

Devotional for Easter Sunday

When he was at the table with them, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us? 

Luke 13:30-32

Photo by David Kepley

I am often curious as to how much the Christian capacity to generously share is related to the trust in a recognition that God is the provider of all things. God is, after all, the source of supply. As people of Grace, we must come close to God and neighbor in love to encounter the power of collective compassion in order to counter the ever-present temptation to the broken systems of domination and fear. 

We find ourselves Lent after Lent straining towards the beauty and joy of Easter knowing that spiritually we must first sojourn through the emotional and psychological rocky road of Holy Week. If we are to truly appreciate the glory of the New Life of The Risen Jesus, we must open our hearts and our imaginations to practice living in the now and the not yet. 

Both literally and figuratively, we must trust the seed-planting processing. The work to rid the world of food deserts and the work to hold powers and principalities systemically accountable for the immoral dumping of toxic waste or poisoning drinking water requires the kind of faith that with open eyes and hearts to burn with the truth is shared. It is the kind of imperfect faith that Cleopas and another follower of Jesus had that was willing to invite the stranger on the road in and share a conversation, a meal, a hope, or a dream. 

Indeed, to care for this gift of the Earth faithfully, we will have to expand our conversation partners and be open to new insights when we are most dejected. We will need to make more time in our actual lives to share our food, our shelter, or our resources of all sorts with those we discover on the road, even when we are heartbroken or worried that things have been destroyed past the point of no return. 

As people on a faith journey to love God and tend tenderly to God’s beautiful creation, we will undoubtedly find ourselves dismayed and disoriented. While we normally think of this scripture in the Post-Lent and Post-Easter Season, may the story of Cleopas and the unknown follower of Jesus on their way to Emmaus be an invitation on this Easter Sunday to wonder and wander, to rest and refresh, to break open scripture and break bread with our fellow sojourners in a sharing of wisdom and resources. 

Who might God be calling you to connect with today? Will you make that time? Christ Jesus just might show up in unexpected and unimaginable ways.

Gracious God, we give you praise for who you are. We thank you for your presence which set our hearts ablaze and never leaves us alone. Empower us to be the Body of Christ together while we are yet full of questions and curiosities about the care of your world. In the name of the Our Creator, Liberator, and Sustainer, we pray. Amen

Rev. Shavon Starling-Louis
graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary and serves as the pastor of Meadowlake Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of Charlotte. As an enneagram 2, she is a generous and gifted encourager, teacher, and preacher, and she is passionate about equity and anti-oppression work in the Church and beyond. 

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