The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) is one of the best-known Post-Resurrection stories from the Gospels. As we continue in the Season of Easter, we continue to make sense of what it means the Christ is Risen.
On the Road, Two disciples who are still baffled and confused by how quickly Jesus was caught up in scandal, executed and apparently rose from the dead. I would be hard pressed to comprehend what all took place. In their confusion, Jesus shows up and points them to the bigger picture. We often get so focused on our immediate circumstances we lose sight of what God has done and what God is doing. In the coming weeks take a moment to lift up your head from current circumstances and allow God to paint a bigger picture.
In this story, we are also reminded that God promises to show up. They didn’t notice Jesus as he quietly listened and then spoke words of hope and compassion. They noticed Jesus when he broke bread with them. What are those moments in your life in which God is revealed? Sometimes I see God revealed in a kind word from a stranger, a note from an old friend when I’m feeling down, or just playing with my daughter who is the embodiment of wonder. I also know as Lutherans, we have faith that God shows up at the Communion Table every Sunday. We know that God shows up in the water and the word at Baptism. Martin Luther reminds us to remember our Baptism when we wash our face or take a show. Christ’s love is there.
Among the many things that Resurrection teaches us, it is that Christ is always with us. As Romans 8:38-39 assures us “ For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Read the Road to Emmaus Story. What do you see? How do you live in Christ’s Love every day? How can you show and remind others of this love? That is the Good News.
I am always amazed at how quickly time passes. We have started Lent and In April comes Holy Week and Easter. I wanted to offer some insight into Holy Week. Holy Week is a celebration and remembrance of Jesus’ Journey toward the Cross.
Holy week begins on April 14th this year. Palm Sunday. We read a processional Gospel of Jesus entering into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. While Jesus had been to Jerusalem many times in his life. This time it was different for Jesus. His Arrival this time was meant to fulfill scripture and brought attention to his teachings in a new way. Much like candidates throwing their hat in the ring for a political race. Jesus triumphant arrival makes a statement. While our church just reads Jesus arrival in Jerusalem. Many Churches have the practice of reading the whole Passion of Christ on the Sunday before Easter.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday don’t have any particular significance in the church but some churches read various passages related to Jesus foreshadowing the events of Good Friday. Community will have a time of open prayer on Wednesday from Noon to 5 with some readings and guided reflections at the beginning of the hour.
Maundy Thursday we celebrate the lasting gathering of Jesus with his disciples. We wash our feet as a sign of humility and imitation of Christ. After the Eucharist the washing of feet is one of the oldest rituals we have as Christians.
We celebrate the Eucharist or Communion as Jesus tells us to remember him.The events of the Last Supper are recorded as happening around the time of the passover meal. We must note that the modern Jewish Seder began after Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in 70AD. The passover meal Jesus and his disciples celebrated may have been similar to the modern seder but as Christians we have a tradition the Eucharist. While informative to our own faith, the Seder is strictly a Jewish tradition.
The Maundy Thursday Service often concludes with a stripping of the Altar to remember the burial of Jesus.
People often wonder why we call the day we remember Jesus’ death on the Cross “Good” Friday. It is because we have hope in the Resurrection. Of course to have resurrection, death needs to happen first.
Our Tradition at Community has been to read the Passion Narrative. On Sundays we often only read snippets of the Gospel. Good Friday is one of the few times we read through a large portion of the Gospels and get to fully hear the story of Jesus. Jesus journey to the cross is long and arduous. I urge to you listen carefully to what happens to Jesus. We often are quick to go from the Cross to Easter Sunday but Good Friday intentional makes us journey with Jesus toward the cross and makes us listen and know Jesus’ death intimately. That Jesus suffered and died for our sin. Because of this, The hope of Resurrection is all the more joyous and hopeful when we experience it on Easter Sunday.
May your Holy Week be truly Holy and Transformative.
Posts from various People reflecting on How Christ intersects with daily Life.