The Liturgy on the Road to Emmaus
Today is Friday in Bright Week, the week immediately following the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Pascha (Easter Sunday). Christ our God, in His ministry between His Resurrection and Ascension, was not only revealing Himself as the Resurrection and the Life to many; but He was also preparing His disciples as to how they would continue in fellowship with Him once He has Ascended. We find one of the moments where He prepares His followers in the Gospel of St. Luke Chapter 24 as He met two of His disciples walking on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. In His time with them, He prepares them for how He will be with them even to the end of the age by manifesting very order of the Liturgy as He would journey with them. That day our Lord would minister to them in both Word and Sacrament. The shape of the liturgy has always been the Liturgy of the Word and then the Liturgy of the Faithful, or the Eucharist. In this narrative Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, shows the disciples both how they would worship Him and how He would so faithfully offer Himself to them for the healing of their souls and that there hope and joy would be complete.
The Peace from God Who is Our Refuge & Strength
The peace God offers creates a blessed contentment in the very depth of the soul. And it is His very peace that we most certainly need in the midst of times such as these when, because of this world-wide pestilence, there is great suffering that is causing physical, emotional, and financial anxieties. But it is this God who offers us this contentment that defies the logic of our present realities. This teaching talks about our part in turning ourselves to God in prayer filled with praise in order to experience fellowship with Him; that from that fellowship He grants us His peace that guards our hearts and minds.
Between Porch and Altar: The Intercessions of God's Holy Priesthood
In Joel Chapter 2, God through the Prophet Joel tells His priests to weep between porch and altar, and let them say "Spare Your people, O Lord." The priests were to take the role of mediators between God and mankind and pray for the mercy of God to fall upon the people. Though this was in the midst of a call by God for His people to repent, it shows us the calling of the priesthood to stand before God on behalf of mankind. My friends, we are now God's holy priesthood. If there was ever a time for us to be who we have been ordained to be by our Lord Jesus Christ and take our place interceding for His mercy on behalf of mankind, is it not now as our world is suffering the spread of this virus. This teaching is to encourage and exhort all of God's people filled with His Holy Spirit to take their ordained place and intercede for the healing and the life of the world.
The Peace That Comes When We Forfeit Control
There is absolute peace to be had even in times when our lives have been completely altered, even if for a brief time. Why is it, then, that we struggle with anxiousness, worries, and sadness in times like these? I find that one major reason is because we have been living for far too long under the false reality that we were really ever in control when it comes to our lives. In this teaching, we examine the great benefit of letting go of control and becoming truly a follower of the Living Jesus Christ. There and from Him alone is where we will find a peace that none can understand in times such as these.