“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” -Luke 24:31-32
Many of us fall into a post-Easter haze in the week following Easter, so thankful for the journey of Lent ending with such a victorious celebration. And then our lives go back to normal, to the usual.
Somehow we, just like the disciples, slip back into our lives as they were before. We have the best intentions of continuing some of the disciplines we had worked so hard on during Lent, to carry the joy forward in a passion-filled, life-altering way. We plan to share the Gospel with everyone with whom we come into contact and to really live a life more deeply in relationship with others. Then the urgent crowds out the important, and we find ourselves staring back at the empty tomb wondering what happened.
As a good friend says, “It’s time for real talk. We are in an identity crisis in the American church. We need to be reminded of our identity in Christ as Kingdom citizens. To help move people from an understanding of membership to discipleship, from institution to intimacy, to activate and empower people.”
So often it is easy for us to bemoan our current situation and to look back on the “good old days” through rose-colored glasses — days we now believe were easier, when it felt like people were more receptive to the Gospel. It was culturally ingrained into society; people came to worship and church activities with regularity and finding volunteers was easy. It is easy to look at how other congregations, denominations, and countries do things and run back to the “upper room” saying, “I don’t have x, y, or z like they do, so I can’t do anything.” The resounding answer comes back, “So what?” Far too often, we preach a Resurrection story that is too weak and empties the Cross of its power.
Please know that while this website exists, the ideas that flow from here often come from the Lutheran tribe. That being said, it does not officially represent a Lutheran denomination. (This was the basis for the North American Lutheran Church’s most recent mission festival, but the idea began as a hope, dream, and prayer many years ago.) The word “Abida” means “fire” in the Oromo language–it is our hope and prayer that the creative ideas inside this website will help you as an individual or the community & tribe that you are a part of, help kindle this fire up that already burns inside of you and others. That it would be a kind of heart burn that you couldn’t get rid of no matter how much antacid you try to use.
As we continue to wrestle with the varying cultures and contexts in which we find ourselves, our prayer is that hearts may continue to be set on fire as Jesus opens the Scripture to us in this journey down the Emmaus road and that He may be known in the breaking of the bread, where we taste sweet forgiveness.