Sunday April 23, 2017

In this story, we find great hope. We recognise the possibility of God making
himself known in many situations of life, often when we need God most. In
companionship with others, in the act of invitation, within hospitality, amid
fellowship, and in the presence of true intimacy of human relationship, we retain
the possibility of finding God.

This gives us, as people who search for God today, so much hope and confidence.
Jesus, no sooner had revealed himself, then he disappeared. For us there is
perhaps great solace to know that the physical presence of God, or the Son, is
not demanded, to provide alone for an encounter with God. Instead we find God
is already there, as we share human-ness and one-ness with each other; in the
‘breaking of bread’, or in the day-to-day encounters we are responsible for shaping
and in which we are present.

This Week’s Scripture Passage:

Luke 24:13-35        Common English Bible

Encounter on the Emmaus road

13 On that same day, two disciples were traveling to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking to each other about everything that had happened. 15 While they were discussing these things, Jesus himself arrived and joined them on their journey. 16 They were prevented from recognizing him.

17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk along?” They stopped, their faces downcast.

18 The one named Cleopas replied, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who is unaware of the things that have taken place there over the last few days?”

19 He said to them, “What things?”

They said to him, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth. Because of his powerful deeds and words, he was recognized by God and all the people as a prophet. 20 But our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the one who would redeem Israel. All these things happened three days ago. 22 But there’s more: Some women from our group have left us stunned. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 and didn’t find his body. They came to us saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who told them he is alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women said. They didn’t see him.”

25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! Your dull minds keep you from believing all that the prophets talked about. 26  Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27 Then he interpreted for them the things written about himself in all the scriptures, starting with Moses and going through all the Prophets.

28 When they came to Emmaus, he acted as if he was going on ahead. 29 But they urged him, saying, “Stay with us. It’s nearly evening, and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 After he took his seat at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts on fire when he spoke to us along the road and when he explained the scriptures for us?”

33 They got up right then and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying to each other, “The Lord really has risen! He appeared to Simon!” 35 Then the two disciples described what had happened along the road and how Jesus was made known to them as he broke the bread.

Music to help you prepare for worship :

Videos to Help you Prepare for Worship

Take Home Ideas:

Re-read the story of the Road to Emmaus. Then read a
newspaper. Look for those stories where God might be at work.
What is it about these stories that mean something to you? Cut
them out and revisit them each day.

For Children and Families:

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

(Written for ages 4-8)

Comment: When two disciples of Jesus meet a stranger on the road to Emmaus, they share that they had hoped Jesus would be the one to redeem Israel. After his death, their hope has turned to hopelessness. In Spires’ tale,a girl has great hope that she can create the most magnificent thing. After multiple failed attempts, her hope has turned to hopelessness. After a long walk the disciples and the girl experience moments of deep clarity that turn their stories around and renew their hope.