Living Connected: Holy Listening

JoyceUncategorized, Words from Bonnie

It is STILL Easter! Christ is Risen!
The Easter Season lasts for 50 days, until we celebrate Pentecost Sunday (May 31), the birth of the Christian Church.

We continue with stories that follow Jesus’ resurrection — the people to whom he appeared, what he heard and said, how he appeared, what he ate, and miracles he performed.

Word of the Week:
A common theme in the post-resurrection stories in the Bible is this: Jesus is not recognized!
From this week’s Gospel reading, “Now on that same day (Easter morning) two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened.
While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
And Jesus said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?”
They stood still, looking sad.
Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?”
Jesus asked them, “What things?”
Luke 24:13-19(a) – The entire reading for Sunday is Luke 24:13-35.

I think their inability to recognize Jesus in this reading had to do with the trauma they had experienced in the last few days. As disciples of Jesus, they knew of his arrest, the beatings and degradation he suffered, and his death by crucifixion.
They weren’t looking for Jesus. At all.
He was unrecognizable to them.
And Jesus doesn’t pop out from the side of the road, saying, “I’m back!”
No, Jesus asks questions. And then he listens. He does not jump in with answers. He listens first.
Who are you listening to these days? To whom have you said, “What are you talking and thinking about these days? What do you wonder about? What’s your greatest worry today? Where do you find safety? Or joy? Or hope?”
In this time of trauma from COVID-19, I think it may be one of the most Jesus-like things we could do: Listen to each other.
And I pray someone is listening to you.
In the name of the Listening Jesus,
Pastor Bonnie Wilcox

Sunday Worship Services: Two on-line viewing options:
1. On Facebook, find First Lutheran Church of Columbia Heights. The services will begin at 10 AM on Sundays. NOTE: We are hearing of glitches with Facebook videos. I suggest you begin with the YouTube video on Sundays.
2. On YouTube, we have a channel with all of our videos. Here is the general link. Each service will go “live” at 10 AM on Sundays: FLC on YouTube

Your Offering: Your generous support for the ongoing operation and service of our congregation is much appreciated. E-Giving Link
New Mobile Giving App: Give Plus
You can now support the church with this mobile app at no cost to you.

Community Meal UPDATE: Curbside Pickup 11 AM – 12 PM. April 26 Menu: Meatloaf dinner
Your free will donation helps support our important food ministries. And if you would like to drop off your offering, we will gladly receive it.
First Lutheran COVID-19 Updates, April 22, 2020:

The congregation has been divided into 24 Connected Community Group (CCGs). Each CCG has a leader who will reach out on a regular basis to check in during the Covid-19 crisis. Thank you to those who responded to the call to help.
The next issue of The Caller will be delayed until after the Minnesota Governor’s decision after May 4. April 27 is the deadline to submit articles.
Compost at FLC: We will receive compost for our Community Garden next week, but have cancelled the distribution to our neighbors because of COVID-19.
Have you been laid off, or furloughed? We would like to support you with prayer and a listening ear. Please contact one of the pastors for support.
Are you an essential worker? Would you send a photo of you “on the job” to Pastor Bonnie (email: These will be used for a montage in worship in coming weeks.
The building remains closed except for essential purposes. We allow no more than ten people in the building at any time for community meals and worship recording. Staff continue to work at home, unless they are in the office for recording or work that cannot be done at home.