Thursday, April 12, 2018

Reflections - Jesus Meets Us Where We Are

True Confessions: When I was in the 5th grade I totally lied about reading  "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. That year, the book was one of the novels my teacher gave extra points for reading.  I think most of the girls in my class read it and it was "the thing" everyone was talking about. I wanted to read it. I loved the cover. I got my parents to buy me my very own paperback copy and carried it around and displayed it on my bookshelf.  I liked the idea of it - I knew about the characters and plot from my friends. But, I just couldn't seem to ever concentrate on it when I tried to read it. I just didn't get it and couldn't get into it.  I really wanted to love it like all my classmates -  but I guess it just wasn't for me at the time. 

I did finally read it a few years later - probably 9th or 10th grade. And this time it stuck. I loved it - and I still love that book. It's one of those books that I reread every couple of years. 
If I had forced myself to read it in 5th grade I probably would have hated it and never gave it a second try.  I guess I just wasn't ready. 

This has happened to me with other books and other things in life as well.  Sometimes things just find us when we are ready -  when our minds and hearts are open to accept and receive. 

I've been thinking this week that Jesus is like this. 

In this week's Scripture passage from Luke, we find the disciples again hiding behind a locked door following the Resurrection and Jesus appears to them and saying "Peace be with you." 

Read Luke 24: 36-49

The scripture says they are terrified and think Jesus is a ghost.  Very patiently, Jesus shows them he is real by showing them the wounds on his hands and feet.  The disciples were starting to come around but "while in their joy were still disbelieving and wondering."  Jesus -  to further show his realness  - tells them he is hungry and asks for some food. (Ghosts don't eat - right?)  

Luke writes that Jesus "opened their minds"  to understand scripture and calls them to be witnesses. But, he also tells them to wait until they have been "clothed with power from on high." He wants them to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit.  They will receive it when they are ready.  (Stay tuned for the story of Pentecost in a few weeks!)

This week I am thinking about how many times God has waited for me.   Jesus patiently waited for the disciples to "get it." Jesus explains time and time again who he is and tells of God's forgiveness and love.  Jesus tells us in not so many words that God waits patiently and lovingly for all of us, too. 

We may not always understand or recognize the ways that God is working in the world or in our lives, but I believe that God is patient and will be there when we are ready. 

What are some things that have "found" you when you were ready? 

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