Does it feel both odd and appropriate that we should be reading this chapter on Christmas Eve? Odd, perhaps, in the midst of our preparations for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday, but wonderful that, at the same time, we can rejoice in his victory over death.
After this journey we have been on with Jesus and the twelve, I can imagine his joy as he reunited with his beloved disciples in places that felt specific to each one or group. And, in ways that had specific impact. Jesus interactions with every person was so very personal. He was an accurate witness to their lives, as they were to his. The relationships were authentic: he was simply real with them. I loved the way he set them at ease when they first saw him after the resurrection.
“Touch me! I’m really here!”
“Do you have food? Let’s eat!”
And I especially love the last words he spoke to them, as recorded here, making connections for them.
“These are the words which I spoke to you when I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms concerning me.”
And then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. “Thus it is written, and accordingly it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remittance of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things! And, look, I am sending the promise of my father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.”
In other words, it’s not over, friends. We have only just begun. The journey continues!
Merry Christmas, dear friend, and Happy New Year!