Pause

It’s ok to grieve, it’s ok to learn to fall. / It’s ok to believe, to admit that you’re human after all.

It’s ok to heal, all of those scars buried deep inside. / It’s ok to feel, to say all the things you’ve been trying to hide.

We are always in motion, like the winds, the tides, the ocean. / Everyday I’m born again, I wake up I feel that second wind.

We’re gonna be alright.

from “We’re Gonna Be Alright,” Switchfoot (2019)

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Listen

The one named Cleopas replied, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who is unaware of the things that have taken place there over the last few days?”

He said to them, “What things?”

They said to him, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth. Because of his powerful deeds and words, he was recognized by God and all the people as a prophet. But our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the one who would redeem Israel. All these things happened three days ago. But there’s more: Some women from our group have left us stunned. They went to the tomb early this morning and didn’t find his body. They came to us saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who told them he is alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women said. They didn’t see him.”

Luke 24:18-24

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Think

Imagine walking with a friend, keeping your “social distance,” comparing notes about our current situation, when someone else asks what you’re talking about. When you tell him, he honestly replies, “Corona-what-now?”

“How do you not know this?” you ask. “Corona has closed restaurants and canceled school, people are getting sick and dying, and we’re supposed to keep our distance until it gets better!” I’m picturing a whole lot of eye-rolling and tongue-biting at this point.

That’s how Cleopas reacts, too. He simply cannot believe that someone would have no idea what they were talking about. Thankfully, he decides not to mock his clueless companion. Instead, he shares what he knows—along with his dashed hopes and his friends’ unlikely news.

It’s true, we may be at different places in our understanding of this pandemic. But as we share stories of our own unmet expectations, dashed hopes, and personal loss, we can make some unlikely connections with others. Can we also keep a lookout for a word of hope that comes from walking this walk together?

Peter Hanson

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Pray

Meet me where I am, Lord Jesus. Join me on the path I’m on. Listen to my stories of grief and loss, dashed hopes and shattered dreams. Surprise me with words of unlikely and surprising news — news of how you bring new life. Amen.

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Go

God calls you to venture where you cannot see the end, by paths never yet taken, through perils unknown;

Go with good courage, not knowing where you go, but only that God’s hand is leading you and God’s love is supporting you.

Peter Hanson

Peter Hanson serves as lead pastor at Christ the King/Cristo Rey, a Lutheran congregation in New Brighton, MN which worships weekly in English and Spanish. He has previously served as youth director in a suburban Minnesota megachurch, a street chaplain in Berkeley and San Francisco, a solo pastor in Vermont, and a missionary in Dakar, Senegal. He currently lives in Saint Paul with his spouse Sarah, a yoga instructor and international educator. Their two sons are university students in Tacoma, WA and Montréal, QC.

The Great Physician is Now Here

Ken Medema

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