Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bishop’s Note: April 19, 2018 – Get Real

Bishop Eric Menees
Last Sunday’s Gospel lesson from Luke Chapter 24 describes the resurrection appearance of our Lord to the disciples on that first Easter Sunday.  Jesus appears to the disciples and says, “Peace.”  Last week we discussed the Peace of Christ as a gift of the Resurrection.  This week we see that another gift is that of His Real Presence.

[37] But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. [38] And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? [39] See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” [40] And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. [41] And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them,“Have you anything here to eat?” [42] They gave him a piece of broiled fish, [43] and he took it and ate before them.” (Luke 24:37-43 ESV)

Jesus doesn’t ignore the reality of their fears and doubts – he addresses them by demonstrating that He is REAL – His Resurrection is REAL! Not only has He risen from the dead - Jesus desires to be with us – to sit and eat with us – to love and teach us.

And that is exactly what we do every time we celebrate Holy Eucharist.
We set the table with bread and wine – to be invited to share in His body and blood.

I think of the hymn by George Wallace Biggs:
Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest;
nay, let us be thy guests; the feast is thine;

thyself at thine own board thyself make manifest
in thine own Sacrament of Bread and Wine"

Just as Jesus made himself manifest – physically present – to the disciples in the breaking so too He makes himself manifest when we come together around altar churches. The same churches which have known so much joy and sorrow.  Where babies have been baptized and young couples married and people of all ages mourned and placed into God’s loving hands.  Every time we gather for these life events we celebrate the Holy Eucharist – which is right and good.

When we place our hands out to receive the bread – his body – and the cup of wine – his blood – we gather as His guests not He as ours.

I pray you all a very blessed week!

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