Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Sunday, March 12, 2023 — Morning

By Suzanne Matheny

We Have Work to Do

Read: Luke 24:13

“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about

seven miles from Jerusalem.”

Our church history hearkens to the Civil War division in America – a division not yet healed. I have vivid memories of the Jim Crow era and my job as a nurse’s aide at the newly built UT Hospital with segregated spaces. I recoil at the memory of raw racist hatred spewed by a white male patient at the black nurse who was training me. How she could bear it is unfathomable! I later worked on third floor – designated for black patients, one of whom was teenage David, same age as I. Too soon, I mourned his death, and I wonder what his life would have been had he survived his heart illness. What if? The future held injustices for us both; however, mine would not be because of my skin color; some of his would have been.

Reflecting on racial division, the late Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd, III, imagined anew the Emmaus road.

“Those disciples knew plenty about injustice, hatred and loss… I imagine not just two disciples, but two types…some black, some white…seeking a new Easter where people of both races could share each other’s lives and honor and respect each other. What would it mean if we really embraced the fact that Christ crucified and risen has broken down the dividing walls between black and white, rich and poor…Easter happens when tombs are opened, old divisions heal, when people learn to forgive and to understand each other, when a society becomes more just and hopeful.”*


God of Creation and Easter: We are created in your image and you are Spirit. Convict and forgive our human ways that see color over spirit. We know we have work to do. Help us see how and give us courage to build a just and hopeful world. Amen.

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*Lloyd, Samuel T., III. Sermons from the National Cathedral: Soundings for the Journey, pg. 167ff