Sermon Notes - April 30
Introduction: The road to Emmaus is one of the famous accounts of the resurrection of Jesus. As two distraught disciples walk back home from Jerusalem, their hopes dashed and their sharing with each other not only the tragedy of what just happened but perhaps the puzzling accounts of the women who went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body only to find it empty. As I ponder over the death of those near and dear to me, as I think of what they have left behind, things that I still have in my possession, a piece of furniture or a treasured knickknack, I find myself drawn to something I do not have, chose not to ask for, and find myself not really wanting, the memory of the thing is so strong I no longer need the thing itself to bring back a flood of memories.
I) As Jesus appears with the two disciples they do not recognize him. Their eyes we are told are prevented from seeing who is present with them. Jesus draws out from them the reason for their despair.
II) Jesus then goes on to share with them the reasons that the one they long for must have had to go through the torment by explaining the scriptures to them beginning with Moses and going through the entire Old Testament. They find their hearts strangely warmed and their gloom turns toward something they did not expect hope. As they near their destination, Jesus appears to be going further, but they attempt to constrain him by admonishing him to stay and have a meal together.
III) As they share a meal Jesus blesses the bread and then they are allowed to recognize him. Once they realize who it is, he vanishes from their sight and they are left in disbelief. Now they realize what has happened they immediately rush back to share this wonderful news with the disciples. As we get ready to remodel our sanctuary, there may be certain attributes that you may well miss as we move into the remodeled sanctuary. The dread I have felt thinking of losing my parents reminds me of the anticipation of this coming loss. What has surprised me is that though I can no longer call them and talk with them, I can still have vivid memories of them. What is more, I am surprised that I can think of something I do not have, like the bluing paper and creche that my mother put up every Christmas. As we come together and break bread the power of Jesus comes among us as well. The old sanctuary certainly contains some of this power and I suspect some of us may well miss certain elements of this environment. What we hold dear in the previous setting we can recall just by shutting our eyes and seeing what it is we recall, more important the feelings and longings we have will be satisfied in part by the mere remembering, I believe Jesus’ presence will do the rest.