Thursday, April 7, 2016

Whiteboard: Road to Emmaus

Our resurrection reflections continue this Sunday at First Christian Church Scottsdale.

Remember that Easter is more than a single Sunday. In the worship life of the church Easter is an entire season -- Seven full weeks of celebrating the power of resurrection and the blessing of new life that we know through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So on the third Sunday of Easter we'll share a familiar Luke 24:13-35 -- The Road to Emmaus.

Two of Jesus followers are walking along the long, lonely highway that leads out of Jerusalem. They are commiserating with each other when they encounter a stranger on the road -- a stranger that you I know is the resurrected Christ, but somehow these two men don't recognize him. They welcome the stranger, walk together, share their lives, and listen to the holy ways that he opens up the fullness of the scriptures and the promises of the Lord to them. Yet somehow, they still don't recognize him.

It is only after they invite him in (after he was just about to leave, nonetheless!) and share a meal that their eyes open. He breaks the bread and communes with them and they see and believe...and go rushing back to Jerusalem to share the good news.

As we continue our journey in faith (often walking down what feels like long and lonely highways) we find that the same pattern persists: That in welcoming the stranger, sharing our stories, listening to one another, reflecting on the promises of our faith, and breaking bread together we experience the power of the risen Christ in our midst.

So this Sunday we'll gather to do just that: Extend hospitality and graciousness to all who gather, lift up the stories of our faith, listen for the fullness of the promises of God, break bread and share the cup, and praise God for the blessing and gift of resurrection power!

Luke 24:13-32 The Walk to Emmaus

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ 

They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ 

He asked them, ‘What things?’ 

They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’

Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.

They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’

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