Ok, before anything else, put down the newsletter and read Luke 24: 13-35. I’ll wait…Ok, good. You know that story right, the road to Emmaus. Classic Easter story. You notice that only one of the disciples is named (Cleopas in verse 18). That was a common way in the first century that writers invited their reader into the story. You are the unnamed disciple! So imagine yourself not watching the story but actually living it.

You and Cleopas walking down the road, trying to get out of town after all that happened to Jesus that horrible week! You are down—the world had let us down and worse God had let us down. God hadn’t stopped the most evil thing that we could imagine! Jesus was dead. What do you do when things all go wrong? Do you sulk? Do you commiserate with a friend? Do you run away in spirit or maybe in reality? Do you turn to drugs or alcohol or sex or shopping or video games or some-thing that you can just escape through? Do you tell God that He let you down? And what does God do in times like that? What is God up to when things don’t go your way? Well what happened on that road? A stranger came along and butted in. “Why so glum guys? What are you two talking about?” And you answer with both self-absorbed wonder and a bit of anger—“Don’t you know? How could you or anybody else think about anything but the tragedy?” And the stranger is of course clueless —“What tragedy? What things?”

It is an invitation, a need to connect and communicate. No matter how ill founded or motivated by anger or confusion or hurt, we humans are made to tell it and hear it. Without knowing it, the disciples are invited, dare we say called to share the story of Jesus with a complete stranger. The evangelism was not a “Come-to-Jesus” moment nor was it a religious self-righteous speech. It was a heart-felt cry and pouring out of how God is in your lives complete with doubt and fear and loss, not just the happy stuff. Then God, in the guise of this stranger, teaches and you and Cleopas do some-thing miraculous—you listen. God opens the scriptures and the experiences of God as real things, not long ago stories. Jesus makes real how God is in the sufferings and the joys, the darks and the lights of life. Jesus himself suffers for us because he loves us. God walks with us even when we don’t know it. And then, in the meal, in the breaking of bread together, God calls us back to His community. The Sacrament here, the revelation of Jesus here burns our hearts with love, it fills us with the Spirit, and it brings us to community. Notice that Cleopas and you run back to the church community and share with them the Good News and then hear it from the others too. Christ Jesus brings us together.

Happy Easter! For these next 50 days of Easter, think on this your story. Recall your daily life with all its ups and downs and ask yourself, where was Jesus walking with me? Think of His call to share your real story, to live your life so others can See Him, and to be in community. Tell the Good News—He was dead but now He is alive! We were dead but because of Him now we are alive! Alleluia!
-Pastor Tim

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