# Joy comes with the morning

Luke 24:36b-48

I wasn’t very good at math during my elementary and high school years. Oh, I could add, subtract, multiply and divide, but when it came to algebra and variables and quadratic equations, I would always get pretty stumped. I just didn’t get it… why did the order of operations matter? And why couldn’t “x” just be a constant? Of course, there were perfectly good reasons why these things were so, but it was over my head at the time… seemingly just beyond my grasp. Although I did a little better with geometry, it was oft reported and never denied by family, friends and teachers that math was not Kemper’s strong suit. Later, during my first year in college, I struggled a bit with calculus, which was really just a reprise of advanced algebra and trigonometry, all wrapped up into a nice, neat, inscrutable bundle. Nice for some, I suppose, but not so much for me. Wrestling with all of the equations seemed like nothing more than an exercise in futility. I just didn’t see the use in it.

And that’s apparently what happened with “the eleven and their companions” in today’s Gospel story. Something finally “clicked” for them, and that something was Jesus opening their minds to understand the scriptures. What a moment that must have been. Some of you may be wondering why today’s reading is from Luke’s Gospel. Aren’t we still in Lectionary Year B? Isn’t this the year of Mark? Why don’t we take a reading from that Gospel? And it’s a fair question. But if you think about it, you’ll understand why. This is Eastertide, the season after the Resurrection. And between now and Pentecost, the fiftieth day after the Resurrection, the Gospel readings will all be focused on helping us better understand the purpose of Jesus’ incarnation and ministry through examination of the stories of his post-resurrection meetings and final teachings with the disciples. And there’s just not a lot of that in Mark. Mark is the shortest of all of the Gospel accounts and, in its original form, on the morning of the resurrection, after the two Marys and Salome find the empty tomb and run back in terror and amazement to tell the other disciples, the narrative ends rather abruptly with: “And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.” [Mic drop] That’s it. Good stuff, to be sure, but no meetings… no teachings. So, no bits from Mark during Eastertide. But not to worry, we’ll get back to Mark long around June. Meanwhile, we’ll be reading some Luke… and a bunch of John. Because Eastertide is all about final meetings and teachings.

Thinking in terms of the purpose of Jesus’ incarnation and ministry, I’d like to propose a couple of “takeaways” from the Road to Emmaus story and our Gospel lesson today. The first is that we have to make ourselves available to Jesus. He’s always close by… nearer than we think, but he’ll rarely force himself upon us, unless of course there is a particularly difficult or dangerous mission that requires undertaking (just ask the Apostle Paul… or the Prophet Jonah, for that matter). No. We must invite Jesus to be our companion on the road and accept him into our “safe space.” Grace abounds. Salvation is always at hand, but we must step into Jesus’ saving embrace. And we do that by walking beside him, breaking bread with him, listening to him and striving to take up his mission of spreading the Good News of God’s Kingdom.

And the second takeaway is that joy comes with the morning. We have an Enemy. Never doubt that. There is a great darkness in the world. Life can be hard. There is pain—unimaginable and unrelenting pain—and humiliation and injustice that threatens to undermine our faith and steal away our hope. We writhe as we undergo the scourgings of this life. But joy comes with the morning.

The Enemy in his malice might try and steal our hope… and seem to kill it… and bury it behind a great stone sealed with all of the ingenuity humans can muster, and yet, joy comes with the morning.

Despite all of the violence and suffering and death endemic to our world, travesties in which we are all complicit to one degree or another, even during the darkest night, the Good News remains as a beacon of salvation. As the prophets foretold, and as the resurrection proves, death is not the end. Joy comes with the morning.

And so, my brothers and sisters, during this season after the Resurrection, or perhaps we should call it our season of Resurrection,let’s recommit ourselves to a closer walk with Jesus on the road he has set before us, and allow him to open our minds, as we open our lives to the Good News of God in Christ. Despite all of the darkness and tragedy of this life, let us hold fast to the hope embodied in our risen Messiah.

We must never forget: Joy comes with the morning.

## 2 thoughts on “Joy comes with the morning”

1. Joy does indeed come with the morning…..The arrival of
the morning itself can be seen as offering the possibility
of joy. That alone is sufficient

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2. Betsy Bunn says:

THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST PROMISING SERMONS I HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF
READING. I HAVE A CHILDHOOD MEMORY OF TRUTH THAT BOTH OF MY PARENTS TAUGHT ME.

“TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY.” AN OBVIOUS TRUTH, BUT THEY ALWAYS
SEASONED THE REMARK WITH JOY AND HOPE.

THEY GAVE ME LICENSE TO HOPE, TRY , BELIEVE , AND NOW IN MY EIGHTIES, I
CONTINUE TO LIVE IN HOPE MOST OF THE TIME…..REGARDLESS OF RECOGNIZED
OBSTACLES AND HOLES.

TOMORROW IS INDEED ANOTHER DAY.

THANKS….BB

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