[May 28, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Good Change

By Meghan Hemenway

I’m from Nebraska – the original good life. Seriously, it’s the state’s tagline. The good life is calling.   Here’s what being from the good life state has done for me. I learned that there is something powerful about living an ordinary life in an ordinary place. There are no mountains, no beaches, no major cities, no Chiefs, no Royals. In other words, nothing that from the outside made it seem exciting.    And yet it was a place that always feels like home to me. Seeing that Nebraska sign on the interstate as I cross over the river always brings a sense of peace to me, and when I leave, I take one last breath of that good life air before I cross back over the river.

In today’s teaching, Dan shared that of all the mountaintop moments of life, all the moments that take our breath away are not a place we can stay right now. The high points are not sustainable for every day. Jesus used the mountaintop moments to point his disciples to the even better “good life” that would come after persevering through the everyday moments. The experiences with Jesus were the good life, but he was preparing and encouraging them that there was a life, a home with God far beyond the goodness they had experienced in the brief time with him. In Luke 9:18-36, the disciples experience Jesus’ prediction of his death. He was preparing them for the time they would have to continue without him and the high points and encouraging them that this was just a taste of what would come.

Another Nebraska tagline says that it’s not just the good life state but a state of mind. The good life is those moments of closeness with Jesus, but more than that, it holds the hope in our minds that the even better good life comes after persevering.


The Journey through Luke

Join us in these daily reflections from the book of Luke in the New Testament. This book was written after Acts for a non-Jewish friend to help give historical context to what was going on in the church at the time. We are like Theophilus (most of us) – we did not grow up steeped in Jewish traditions, the Old Testament, and the prophecies. So Luke writes to people like us to make sense of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. For more background, check out these short videos from our friends at The Bible Project:

Watch Luke 10-24


[Monday, May 29]

Read Luke 23:26-43

In today’s passage, we read about the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus speaks to a crowd of people, including women who have come to mourn him. He tells the women not to weep for him but for themselves and their children because of what will come. In this passage, Jesus shows his ability to hold more than one position, more than one reality. He is fully human and a son whose mother weeps for him, but he is also the protector and savior of all people. He can simultaneously hold their sadness for him and his own grief over what must happen. How do you hold the tension of today’s reality with the promise of tomorrow’s?


[Tuesday, May 30]

Read Luke 23:44-56

This passage brings the death of Jesus. Again, many people have stayed to bear witness to the horror his death must have been. Luke again draws our attention to the women who waited in silence and then began the process of preparing their son’s, their savior’s, body for eternal rest. There is a strength required to stay present in our grief rather than turning away that the women in this passage represent. What traditions of bearing witness do we carry on in our society?


[Wednesday, May 31]

Read Luke 24:1-12

Today we find ourselves in the part of the story where Jesus fills the script. Even though he had told his disciples and followers that he would rise from the dead, do you think they could truly believe it? Yesterday we saw the women bearing witness to the end of his life and perhaps accepting that Jesus was, in fact, human. Today they begin to know with their hearts and heads that he was more than that. Luke tells us that the women remembered Jesus’ words—that he would be raised again, and with the empty tomb they perhaps have hope returned. Luke also tells us that when the women shared this, they were not believed because it seemed like nonsense. When have you had an experience of not being believed? What did it feel like? When have you been in the position of being unable to believe?


[Thursday, June 1]

Read Luke 24:13-34

Today’s passage brings us to the road to Emmaus. Two followers of Jesus come face to face with him but do not recognize him. They tell him the story of Jesus’ death and even how they didn’t believe the women who confirmed the prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus scolds them for their disbelief of the women and his own words, but they still do not recognize or believe. Later he opens their eyes so they can see him for who he is. What emotion do you imagine they felt when their eyes were opened? Shame? Guilt? Longing? Faith tells us to trust in things unseen, but our brains can fight against us, wanting proof. How do you wrestle with the tension between wanting o have faith and wanting to have proof?


[Friday, June 2]

Read Luke 24:35-49

In today’s passage, Jesus appears to the disciples. In the last passage, he opened the eyes of some, and in this passage, he does that further, working to help them find faith with their eyes before he opens their minds. We see Jesus’ deep love and kindness through his patience. I can imagine his frustration and the sense of urgency he must have felt. I wonder if a part of him felt like shouting, “I told you so!” But he sits with them, he lets them touch his wounds, and he goes slowly, meeting them where they are before leading them gently to where he needs them to go. Where in your life do you have an opportunity to follow Jesus’ lead and offer patience to another?


[Saturday, June 3]

Read Luke 24:50-53

In the final passage for this week we see the ascension of Jesus. In this brief section we see the completion of Jesus’ time on Earth. Throughout these verses in Luke we see the progression of emotions and faith in Jesus’ followers. We began with their grief and disbelief and end with their joy and true trust. What characteristics of Jesus do you notice in this passage? What stands out to you as something to carry on from this week’s readings?


{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

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© 2023 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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