Would you welcome the opportunity to "shelter in place" with Jesus? Interestingly, "shelter in place" is a war-related term that first appeared in the transcript of a 1957 House subcommittee hearing about reorganizing the "civil defense functions of the federal government" during the Cold War. The term is also now used for chemical spills, terrorist threats, hurricanes, and, yes, pandemics.
This Sunday's gospel reading has reminded me of the blessings of "sheltering in place" with Jesus in the sacred space of our homes. The gospel begins with Christ, our risen Savior, suddenly appearing in his glorified body to walk alongside two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Without recognizing Jesus, they lamented about the events that had taken place at Christ's crucifixion back in Jerusalem. The risen Christ then began to expound the scriptures about himself, which caused their hearts to burn within them.
When they came near to the village where they lived, Jesus continues walking as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went with them. It was there that our Savior broke the bread, and they recognized him! This worship encounter has much to say to us today about the blessing of "sheltering in place" with Jesus as we journey through the COVID-19 pandemic.
I hope that you will join me via ZOOM on this coming Lord's Day as we journey with our Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Emmaus!
Your servant in Christ,
The Rev. Dean F. Schultz - Christ the Redeemer Church, Springfield, VA