The Sixth Sunday of Easter
The Gospel is heard, received, and over time starts to transform the world - but it all began with a simple meal. In between there was betrayal and loss. And yet, through it all, God's grace, God's love wins.
The lectionary readings are: John 14:15-21, Psalm 66:8-10, 1 Peter 3:13-22, Acts 17:22-31
Rev. Kerry Bart
Pastor, Barboursville UMC
“Walking With Jesus” has been our intentional and devotional theme for half a year now, with many reflections shared by laity and clergy who spent at least a little time with the bishop in the Holy Land in September and October 2019.
There’s something magical sacred about actually walking where Jesus walked. “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts,” we read in 1 Peter 3:15. “Keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master,” writes Eugene Peterson. AND we also have to be able to put ourselves in the presence of God wherever we are, Holy Land or not. The Lord God “does not live in shrines made by human hands… he is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:24, 27)
Having experienced God in the Holy Land, and having heard Mary’s witness at the tomb on Easter morning – “I have seen the Lord!” – and even while “just” sitting in your living room or walking the beautiful hills of West Virginia, won’t you join me in these three things?
One, Set the table. Attune yourself to seeing God at work in your life. Every day, make an opportunity to encounter God.
Two, Sit down for the meal. Read the scriptures, take God in. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Do this in solitude and do this with other members of the body of Christ, but do it regularly.
Three, Rise and Go. Don’t keep the faith, share it! “Tell what God has done for you.” (Psalm 66:16). No one makes the journey alone, and others are built up by your story, even as the stories of others build you up.
We’re just a few weeks from Pentecost. We’re even closer to Ascension Day, and Aldersgate Day is also just around the corner. Each one of these is a signpost along the way that encourages us to keep walking, whatever the circumstances.
Keep walking, eyes on the prize.
Keep walking, with your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee. We’re not alone.
Prayer: God of abundance in the desert, God of presidents and paupers, Almighty One, great is your name. Thank you for your invitation to fullness of life. Continue to nurture and guide us as we participate in your kingdom on earth, wherever we may be. Amen.
Kerry Bart is pastor at Barboursville First United Methodist Church and is a member of the Communications Team.