Too Good to be True?

Have you ever experienced something that was too good to be True? The women and the disciples did. Chapter 24 Luke tells us the story of three appearances of the Risen Lord.

The first is to the women who go to the tomb. They go early in the morning to anoint the body of Jesus but do not find the body. Two men in dazzling clothes appear suddenly and the women are terrified. Heavenly beings always frighten people initially, too much Good News all at once. They asked the women: “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

The answer, of course, is that they were not seeking the living among the dead. They were seeking the dead among the dead. So they are reminded of the words of Jesus: the Son of Man would rise on the third day. Despite several predictions given by Jesus, no one seemed to hear that second part about rising on the third day, too much Good News there. The women return to the eleven with angelic Good News. But their words seemed like “an idle tale and they did not believe them” (vs 11). The story was just too good to be True.

Have you experienced something that is hard to believe? Our normal human response to our life experiences is to remember the past as better than it was and fear the future more than we should. The Good News in the present often goes unappreciated. Peter, whom we studied during Lent, is the only one in Luke with the courage to run towards the empty tomb and sees the linen clothes and is amazed.

The second resurrection account is of two disciples on the road to Emmaus. These are two men are not among the eleven, but they have followed Jesus. One named Cleopas tells the stranger who is walking with them: We had high hopes for Jesus being the “one to redeem Israel.” Instead, he was put to death. Still, they had heard the witness of the women but rather than run towards the Good News as Peter did, they were walking away from it.

Why walk away from Good News, rather than run toward it? It does take courage.

Using the scripture, Jesus instructs them in the need for the Messiah to suffer and then enter his glory. Moving into the future as Jesus did as the suffering servant, took courage. At the end of the road, they ask Jesus to come in, for it is getting dark. In the breaking of the bread, they recognize him. With their eyes open they now brave the dark road back to Jerusalem and share the Good News. Courage and open eyes are needed to head toward the Good News. 

The third resurrection account is our text for Sunday. Jesus appears to the eleven just after Cleopas and his companion arrive in Jerusalem. As they are discussing their walk and Peter is sharing his story, Jesus himself, stood among them, saying: “Peace be with you.” The response is that they are terrified and think they are seeing a ghost. Jesus asks “Why are you frightened and why do doubts arise in your hearts?”

Why do they? Their initial response is “disbelieving joy”. He goes on to show them he has flesh and bones, even eating some fish and instructing them in the scriptures. Luke tells us that finally at the ascension of Jesus, they are drawn to worship him and return to Jerusalem with great joy.

What does it take for us to believe the Good News, run toward it, and experience great joy in life? Courage, faith, and a willingness to know great joy.

We live in a world where people do take advantage of others. I remember a South Korean church that asked to use our sanctuary in Rancho Cucamonga for gatherings. We did not rent to them and later learned that the head of the church had taken advantage of the new immigrants who came to the church.

Olivet University a “Christian” institution in nearby Anza has been under investigation for human labor trafficking and forced work, without pay. The investigation is ongoing.

Sadly, there are some people who take advantage of others, even under the guise of the Christian faith. We need to have our guard up. Yet even so, Jesus invites us to run toward the future he is creating.

This week the solar eclipse was quite complete in parts of the country. I had children of relatives in a fearful mode. Rather than appreciating this rare spectacle of nature, they were anxious that the end was near.

Sunday after Sunday, we members of Faith lift up the Good News of Jesus in our worship. This Sunday as part of our ongoing celebration of our 75th Anniversary we will recognize all those who assist in Worship and Church Resources. they inspired us to have the faith and courage to run toward the Good News of Life through worship, prayer, and acts of service. Thus, in the end, we, like the disciples, can experience Great Joy.

Prayer of Julian of Norwich                                                                               

In you, Father almighty, we have our preservation and our bliss. In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving. You are our mother, brother, and savior. In you, our Lord and Holy Spirit is marvelous and plenteous grace. You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us. You are our maker, our lover, our keeper. Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. Amen.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor John Bunge

Next Pantry – Every 2nd & 4th Saturday. May 13 and 27. We are blessed that Aldi is providing food through our connection there. We could especially use Pasta sauce and Canned Soup. Thanks, Diane Watson, for your Action Team.

Bless you for all the ways you support Faith Lutheran. Your financial support has been amazing. We did receive $238 in Choice Dollars this year so far as well.

Time of Meditation –Nelson Hall continues to lead a time of prayer and meditation on Thursdays @ 1 pm. He is starting a new introduction to meditation for those who are new but would like to join this group united in prayer and meditation.

LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours are: 12:30-3:00 M – Th.          The Pastor is in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Confirmation Classes We are back in action through April and May at 11:15 am. Until Memorial Day, May 26.

CHOIR – We practice at 9:00 am before services.

WELCA – The Next Women’s Bible Study will be May 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the Fireside Room.

QUILTING – Emily Smith’s Group (909.255.2452) has completed 16 for Central City Lutheran Mission and 6 for Lutheran World Relief. They also gave 23 lap quilts to Smiles Seniors of Yucaipa, who sent a nice Thank you note.


  • Pray for erwin as he mourns the death of Lynda who passed away on March 19. He appreciates being contacted by mail or email: The memorial service will likely be in April.
  • Pray for the family of Glen Egerstrom, the service for his mother was on April 6 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks.
  • Eloise was with us on Good Friday. Nice to see Benet. Thanks for your prayers.
  • Great to see Jacque and Dennis Kottmeier on Good Friday as well.
  • The Koenig Family – Jeanne had gallbladder surgery and is recovering well. Jessica and the boys are healing after their accident. Jeanne & Joe will be moving back to Yucaipa in April. Pray that their house in Hemet sells.
  • Kyle and Dana’s son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law, Lisa, cancer was found even after surgery.
  • Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim, and Kyle.
  • The Sheas would appreciate prayers for Rebecca and Chris Herandez in need of housing for themselves and the twins.
  • Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.


Stop by and find yourself among the ministries we do. Our aim is to include a picture of everyone.   If you have any pictures, please forward them to Debi Hitter,

We will be taking follow-up pictures of friends and members to update the directory and the bulletin board in the Narthex.

THIS SUNDAY’s  75th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION HONORING ALL INVOLVED IN WORSHIP AND CHURCH RESOURCES. You will be recognized In the Worship service, and honored in the Fellowship Hall for a Fiesta Celebration after the service,  and all participants’ names and some pictures will be noted on the Bulletin Board.

This includes:

  • Irm, Director of Music
  • Assistant Ministers
  • Readers
  • Altar Care
  • Acolytes
  • “Boys In the Back” (Audio/Visual)
  • Choir
  • Bells
  • Special Music
  • Caring Servants
  • Counters


 14        FIESTA 75th Anniversary Celebration for Worship & Church Resources  with Chef Richard’s delectable tacos, taco bar and cookies

 21        SERVING YOUR FAVORITES DAY – with meatballs, salad, brownies, and fruit.

28        BINGO! – Kim’s Famous Taco Soup, salad, and Karen’s awesome dessert

            11:00-11:20 Eat

            11:20-12:10 Bingo!