A Conversation with Angels

Easter morning I found myself listing to the sermon in our son’s church in Arlington, Massachusetts.  Preaching on the great resurrection text from John 20:11-18, the pastor commented that we are invited to overhear a conversation with angels.  The phrase has stuck with me. Biblically speaking, angels are messengers from God.  The question to Mary is addressed to us.  “Why are you crying?”  In our confession, ““They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him,” (John 20:13) comes the encounter with the risen Christ.  He meets us by our tombs and in our wanderings.  For me, this is continuing great good news! The Monday before Easter I spent some of my off time serving at the First Street Mission (First UMC Fort Worth’s mission to the homeless.)  As seemingly is always the case in such events, I was the one blessed by an encounter with the risen Christ (before Easter no less!).  Surrounded by the saints who volunteer regularly, I was taken in and educated.  Christ for me came while pouring coffee and handing out clean underwear. I’ll call him Jim to protect his identity.  He was homeless, handicapped and hurting yet the smile was genuine and his faith real.  Christ was carried in his person (not his perfection).  Folks like Jim aren’t referred to as the homeless or clients but as friends and such was he for me. There is wisdom and grace in this ministry.  Disciple Church on Sunday is a banquet for Christ.  Rev. Page Hines tells me that the greatest need is for more volunteers.  If you have the opportunity, try it.  You will be blessed! Faith conversations and witnessing slip in on a slant angle.  I was the one witnessed to far more than the witnesser.  Christ is present. My time since then has taken me to the tornado wreckage of St. Barnabas (and its neighborhood), a speech at a Texas Methodist Foundation gathering in Austin, a Healthy Church Initiative PLD group (Pastors Leadership Development group) in Whitney, two Cabinet meetings, a lectio divina spiritual formation, preparation for General Conference, and a Habitat for Humanity build.  Sunday will be a trip to the South District for worship and then back to Austin for another speech at TMF on Monday.  Tuesday Jolynn and I will fly to General Conference in Tampa, Florida.  The conversation with angels lingers because the risen Savior is present. It gives me strength for the journey.