Thought for the week

Thought for the week: Sunday 26th April 2020
This thought was written by Rev Stephen Walker, our Anglican Rector, who would have been leading our service today, if we were not in lockdown.


The road to Emmaus, Luke 24 

It is hard to understand how two faithful disciples of Jesus could have travelled with him, side by side, without recognising him. Maybe disappointment had blinded their eyes and their hearts to the truth.

  • The story is that in Jerusalem they had learned the devastating news about Jesus’ death.

  • Despite having heard about the women and other disciples reporting that Jesus was still alive, they continued to focus on his death.

  • They had hoped he was the one to bring redemption to the oppressed people of Israel.

  • But Cleopas and his friend concluded that he was not the one.

  • They did not understand how he could be alive or how the transformation of life Jesus had begun could continue.

  • For them it was still Good Friday, and they left for home.

But this account is not just an account about encountering Jesus from 2000 years ago but also a general example of how people have encountered Jesus through the ages and we encounter Jesus today.

Two thousand years ago the disciples encountered Jesus, and we now encounter him, in:

  1. Journeying

  • Not so much a physical journey but a spiritual journey.

  • A journey, from despair to hope, from darkness to light, from death to life.

  • A journey spiritually from baptism to the grave and beyond often gradual, with occasional key events that help us make sense of it all.

2. Fellowship

  • Jesus said, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20

  • We often make sense of our encounters as we share them together. This is why corporate worship and fellowship are so important and why many Christians miss them so much at this time.

3. Word

  • Jesus explained the scriptures to them.

  • And for us today we still need to use our minds to interpret scripture, we too need the scriptures explained to us, for in scripture is our objective basis for discerning truth and what is right, important as we live in a world where so much truth is subjective and situational.

4. Sacrament

  • It was in the breaking of bread that these disciples finally recognised Jesus.

  • And for us it too can be the sacramental sharing of bread and wine in worship that can break through the doubts and questions we have and give us a glimpse of the Kingdom of God around us. Something for us to look forward to be able to do once more when the lockdown ends.

A prayer: Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.