Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Walk this Way


Luke 24:13-35

Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.
Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’
Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.

When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’
They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread

We are not a patient people. Just a few days waiting in the garden, deciding it was all an anti-climax. The city is starting to get a bit scary now. Time to be making our way home.

Thinking about our journey of faith, everything up to Easter is the foundation - the teachings- the basics. This is what you have to know to be a Christian; informative, educational, even institutional. Whether or not YOU are a Christian depends on the next bit - the Road to Emmaus. You may 'know' it but do you believe it and do you let it change your life?

Emmaus, you may know, was a spar town, the early version of Blackpool or Las Vegas, the sort of place that you would take yourself off for for some fun; to cheer yourself up; to forget your worries. 

Jerusalem is all about the faith; responsibility; the way to Heaven. And most of us spend our time wandering between the two, depending on where we are in our lives - we will all be aware of the peaks and troughs in our faith when we 'haven't had time' for God and then needed Him to answer questions we didn't want to think about. We move back and forwards, often travelling in the wrong direction to where we should really be.

And we can't be told, oh no, we don't believe the women because it is too hard, too outrageous; too challenging. They are not reliable witnesses.

Until the stranger appears, often when we are at our lowest, our saddest, the mid-point when we don't know if we are coming or going. The time of the journey when you realise you need some direction and are ready to listen. And suddenly alongside you is Jesus, patient, loving, compassionate and it is made clear; it makes sense, the reality of the Resurrection hits home. 

The God of Always, holding together the whole cat's cradle of the Cosmos yet is here, where you are; because that's how much he loves you


1 comment:

Lynda said...

So very inspirational and right on! Thank you for this thought-provoking post.