Blogging towards Sunday, May 8th
Being sent into the world is a major theme of the scriptures that we read after Easter. As we listen again to the testimonies of those that experienced the great teacher as the resurrected One, we have to ask ourselves how is it that we experience him as both teacher and resurrected Lord today, here in the context of the 2011 East Bay?
This story is unique to Luke. Some say a faint echo of it can be found in Mark 16:12-13. This pilgrimage story follows Luke’s telling of the resurrection encounter at the empty tomb (Luke 24:1-12). These two followers of Jesus are heading towards Emmaus. They’re on a journey – not just to a village 7 miles away, but also on the journey of faith. They’ve heard the report of the women, and wonder at what it means.Could Jesus be alive? How could the teacher have been silenced so quickly? Did they put their hope in the wrong person? How could this have happened? They don’t seem to doubt, but they do lack a full understanding. It’s at this point of questioning, wondering, seeking that a stranger arrives and starts to journey alongside them. As the walk, they talk. This traveler seems wise, and yet is unrecognizable until they share a meal together. Some see the words of v 31 as the echo of the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:13-25. It’s in the context of a communion type of meal that the disciples recognize the presence, purpose and passion of the Master – the risen Lord. It’s not just their eyes that are opened (Luke 12:31) but also their minds (Luke 12:45). Seeing isn’t all that there is to believing. The despairing disciples have their hope renewed and reoriented by this encounter. They experience the breaking of the bread as a journey of encounter of the Living Christ, of clarity of vision, of expanding wisdom and as a sending out into the world. They don’t linger at the inn which has room to spare, but rather return to the upper room in Jerusalem where the other disciples despair and wonder.
· Why do they not recognize Jesus in verse 17 and yet do in verse 31? What do you think opens their eyes?
· How do you need your eyes opened to experience and glimpse the living presence of Christ in your life?
· How are we as a church community in need of a fuller understanding, a glimpse of the living Christ, for us in our journey as a church seeking renewal, growth and to respond to the needs of our ministry context?
· How is the Spirit of God inviting you to act, be, or respond through this text?