bishop's desk copy
March/April 2024

Weren’t Our Hearts Burning?

Paradox (noun): having seemingly contradictory qualities, features, expectations

To some, the Easter story would appear to be full of paradoxes. Yet, when you view the full story in light of prophecies, Scripture, the words and actions of Jesus, the four Gospel accounts of the betrayal, denial, trial, crucifixion, burial and resurrection, the real paradox is in the decision of the hearer to not believe Truth.

The two travelers on the Emmaus road being joined by the unrecognized risen Messiah were so distraught and caught up in their shattered hopes and disappointments they could not see the Truth in front of their faces and by their sides. Only when He broke and blessed the bread did their spiritual vision, their heart hopes and their blinded eyes re-open to Truth. After their profound realization, they remembered how they felt when Jesus had conversed with them on their journey, “Weren’t our hearts burning?”

As we walk through life with the many disappointments, trials, tribulations and pains we experience, do we often miss God in the details, in the Big Picture, in the Truth? Are we so caught up in the seemingly insurmountable circumstances of our situations that we can’t or won’t see the Hand of God working through the mundane, the stuff, the story? When we get to the other side of the struggle do we find ourselves looking back, seeing the eternal view, the real reason, the Truth? When do we realize “our hearts were burning”?

I especially love two realizations in the Easter story.

First, when the angel tells the women at the empty tomb to go tell “the disciples and Peter,” I am reminded of the amazing love, mercy and care of Jesus for each person. Jesus wanted Peter, the one who denied knowing Jesus, to especially know of the resurrection, the life, the Truth. You and me, every person, each individual is loved by Jesus. Second, the stone was not rolled away for Jesus to get out. For the Son of God who walked on water, calmed the raging sea and wind, healed the sick, raised the dead, conquered death, hell and the grave, to need help getting out of the tomb is absurd. The stone was not rolled away for Jesus to get out … but for the women, the men, us to get in to see He had risen just as He said He would.

May our hearts burn with the Truth of Easter. Hallelujah! He is Risen. He is Risen, Indeed!