By Pastor Stephen A. Curry
After the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, Christ appeared to the disciples and other followers for a period of 40 days. These post-Resurrection appearances were critical in keeping the Christian movement from falling apart. Contrast this with the disciples of John the Baptist that seemed to have dispersed after John was beheaded.
The lowest point is recorded in John 21. Seven of the disciples are back at Galilee even though Jesus told them to stay in Jerusalem. They were back home, in the very place they had been three years before when they first met Jesus. Three years before, they had been simple fishermen when Jesus came by and asked them to leave their nets and follow Him.
The three years they had followed Jesus had been remarkable. They had witnessed incredible miracles and heard the inspiring words of the greatest teacher that ever lived. They had been plunged to the deepest fear and despair as they saw their Master executed by the mightiest power in their world and experienced the greatest joy at the Resurrection.
But there they were, back home -- seven men sitting on a beach without their Master. And they decided to go back to where they began. They decided to go back to fishing. At that moment, the entire church, the only church in the world, consisted of seven men sitting on a beach, about to walk away. It was the appearance of Jesus that refocused the disciples back to spreading the message of Christ. It was the appearance of Christ that re-invigorated them to return to evangelism. It was the appearance of Christ that rescued the church so that we, today, know of the love of Christ, hear the words of Christ, and receive the gift of salvation given to us at the Cross.
Sometimes, we are tempted to walk away from the church. Sometimes despite the wonderful experience we have had in the community of believers, we are tempted to go back to the old habits we had before we responded to Christ’s call to follow Him. We need to stay connected with the body of Christ, the church. We need to be with the community of believers. Find a church and join it. You are always welcome at La Vernia United Methodist Church.