Shenandoah District Connection
Signs of the Risen Christ
April 15, 2020
“...Were not our hearts burning within us?” (Luke 24:32, NIV)
Call to Worship and Prayer
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Do you believe it?”
We believe you are the Christ, the resurrected Lord!
What about those times when our world caves in around us?
Jesus is still the Christ, the resurrected Lord!
Or in those seasons when it looks like all hope is gone?
Jesus is still the Christ, the resurrected Lord!
And even when our dreams are shattered, and it feels like we have nothing left to show for it?
Jesus is still the Christ, the resurrected Lord!
What about when the world has turned against us, and it looks like Satan will win?
We have nothing to fear, and do not need to be discouraged, because Jesus is still the Christ, the resurrected Lord!
Do we believe this?
May this simple truth burn within our hearts--Jesus is the Christ, the resurrected Lord!
Ryan Cooper
Pastor of Beaver Creek
Chair of the Ministerial Leadership Team
Member of the District Leadership Team
“Were not our hearts burning within us?”--Luke 24:32 [1]
Cleopas and one other were downcast. Everything they had come to know to believe had been called into question. Something drew them to Jesus in the first place. Perhaps it was dissatisfaction with the state of Judaism. Maybe it was the teaching of the kingdom of God, inspiring them to hope in something they had been missing. Or even still, it may have been the ability to join a community, to belong to something bigger than themselves. But on that road to Emmaus, none of it mattered. All that was in front of them was broken dreams and utter dejection. Not even the testimony of the women of Jesus’ resurrection could change their attitude.
We can fault Cleopas and the unnamed disciple for their failure to believe. But to be fair, how do we respond when our world is shattering around our feet? When everything we know or thought to be certain was gone in a flash? And maybe some of us are already at that point in the midst of this pandemic. Our churches are closed. Some have become sick. Others have lost their jobs. Churches all across the world are asking how they can financially stay afloat during this season of time. Maybe it is not too far a stretch to feel how Cleopas felt.
But friends, there is good news! Although that is how Cleopas and the unnamed disciple started their journey toward Emmaus, that is not how they finished! While on that road, they were transformed when they encountered the resurrected Lord! By the end of their seven mile journey, their hearts “burned within them” so much so that they ran back the seven miles toward Jerusalem to tell the good news, “It is true! The Lord has risen” (Luke 14:34). [2] What were the signs of the resurrection in their own hearts? What prompted this change?
First, Jesus met them at their point of need . Jesus did not come and say, “It is me!” when they were in the place of dejection; rather, Jesus met them at their lowest point and journeyed with them! Then, Jesus revealed himself in ways that had deep meaning to them . He opened up the Scriptures, and they dialogued about how the Scriptures pointed to Christ. Then Jesus revealed himself through the breaking of the bread, a reminder of the close fellowship they carried. In the midst of their sorrow, Jesus brought these two disciples back to two areas they had always enjoyed in being with Jesus--the Scriptures, and the fellowship, and their hearts began to burn again as it had before!
Friends, Jesus sees us today, just as he saw these two on the road to Emmaus. We, too, may be in our own crisis moment. Jesus will meet us at our point of need. He will journey with us every step of the way. And Jesus will reveal himself to us in a way that is unmistakably him! Maybe it is in the hearing of a hymn that carries deep meaning or through a scripture that brings us again to hope! No matter where we are, or what we face in the days to come, Jesus will reveal himself and remind us again of who he is and the power of the resurrection!

Ryan Cooper
Pastor of Beaver Creek
Chair of the Ministerial Leadership Team
Member of the District Leadership Team
You are not alone.
In times of joy, and times of sorrow,
In times of plenty, and times of need,
In times of strength, and times of weakness,
In times of peace, and times of anxiety,
In times of certainty, and times of doubt,
Know that you are not alone, for Jesus is with you.

Ryan Cooper
Pastor of Beaver Creek
Chair of the Ministerial Leadership Team
Member of the District Leadership Team
From the Desk of District Executive Minister
John Jantzi
Dear Sisters and Brothers,

It continues to be a real joy and privilege to interact with you through the variety of means available. The stories of faithfulness and generosity continue to be a real blessing. Prayers continue for each of you.

During the next several weeks, members of the District Leadership Team will be sharing meditations and reflections in the Shenandoah District Connection. The team(s) have been engaged in any number of creative ventures and outreach subsequent to and continuing through the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a gifted and committed group, and it is an absolute delight to partner together in mission and service. I will also continue to contribute on occasions.

We will continue publishing the Shenandoah Update on Thursdays with the news of the District and denomination that is available. 

Serving Christ Together,

District Executive Minister
John Jantzi 
[1] Holy Bible, New International Version, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® .
[2] Ibid .
If you have questions about the Daily Connection, contact:
Director of Communications
Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren
P.O. Box 67
Weyers Cave, Va. 24486
(540) 234-8555

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