By: Rev. Glenn Shore, Pastor Zion Lutheran Church, Jansen & Grace/Aarnes Lutheran Church, Wynyard
This article originally appeared in the Last Mountain Times weekly regional paper. Each week their "Ministerial Message" Column, features reflections from the variety of ecumenical partners that serve the Last Mountain region. We are very pleased to begin sharing these reflections with our Archdiocese of Regina News family.
The disciples thought Jesus was dead. A few had reported that morning that Jesus’ body had been stolen and only Mary could report that she had literally seen the Lord. The rest of Jesus’ followers were not so quick to believe. They thought Jesus was dead. The hopes, dreams, and expectations that they had of the new world with Jesus as the one who would save Israel had died. Their enemies had cruelly killed him. His life, along with theirs, seem to have been snuffed out. How could these disciples ever live again like they had lived when Jesus was with them?
Some years ago, during a time when I was a student chaplain to hospital patients, I received a phone call on a Friday evening. A young couple requested that I come to the hospital to be with them because they had just delivered their first baby – the baby was stillborn. Their hopes and dreams and expectations had died. The life within them had been taken from them and they wondered how they could ever live again? Why did Jesus let them down? He had promised such great things – He had given them such great hopes and dreams. Would God now deliver them from this life without their leader and friend?
Perhaps the disciples asked that same question as they were locked up in that room. How could they ever live again? Why did Jesus let them down? He had promised such great things – He had given them such great hopes and dreams. Would God now deliver them from this life without their leader and friend?
The young couple asked me if I could lead them in a funeral service for their baby. I wondered how I could comfort this couple who had dreamed of bringing forth life only to experience death. They told me how they had prepared for the baby – how they had carefully selected clothing, toys and other necessary items. The baby’s room was ready. They were as ready as they could be. Only one thing was needed – the breath of life.
And that breath of life was not given to them. We went to the chapel of the hospital together where we cried and talked and prayed. When we left, I wondered how God would touch this young couple, how God would keep them close during their pain. How would God breathe new life into them after such an experience?
You and I may never understand the pain which that young couple experienced, but we have carried within us – hopes and dreams which died before they were given a chance to live. Or we may wonder if the hopes and dreams which we carry with us now, will come to fruition, or will they be taken from us too? We have great hopes for our own lives, or for the lives of our children and grandchildren. And there have been many times when those, in whom we have held our hope, including ourselves and God, have let ud down. Somehow, or in some way, we have been disappointed. In the midst of our disappointment and grief, we can become fearful!
Along with the Disciples, Jesus comes to us with words of peace. He says, “Peace be with you.” He showed them his hands and his side as if to say, “Your dreams and hopes have not been shattered – just changed.” And he breathed new life into them – giving them the Holy Spirit. As Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon them, He created new life in his disciples. They were filled with His Spirit which gave them new life, new dreams and expectations. Just as God first breathed into the nostrils of the human formed from the dust of the ground and gave the breath of life, now Christ breathed on the disciples and gave to them the breath of life in the Holy Spirit.
Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! May “Resurrection Peace” bless you this Easter season, may you live because he lives for, with and in you. Amen! You can receive a FREE, online, weekly subscription to the Last Mountain Times by going to www.LMtimes.ca and filling in the subscription form. You will receive an email each week with a link to your digital copy of the Last Mountain Times.
Page URL: http://archregina.sk.ca/news/2019/05/10/when-hopes-and-dreams-seem-shattered-jesus-brings-breath-life