Saturday, April 5, 2008

Emmaus

Supper at Emmaus by He Qi

EASTER is the “Jesus” part of the "Joys – Junk – Jesus" focus we have been sharing at our congregation since Christmas

The Easter Gospels reveal what Jesus died and was raised from death to accomplish according to God’s will and purpose for creation…

1. Jesus the New Life for those ensnared by sin, death and the devil - we are delivered from their power.

2. Jesus the Peace-giver for the Doubting and Dejected – We are restored.

3. Jesus the Promise Keeper for the brokenhearted - We have hope.

4. Jesus the Caretaker - We journey through life in safety.

5. Jesus the Spiritual Guide to the Father - We trust.

6. Jesus the Full Revelation of God – We see God and believe.

7. Jesus the One in whom all creation is unified before God– We are community.

The Easter evening story of the Road to Emmaus is such a powerful story of transformation. When the un-recognized Jesus asks, "What are you discussing as you walk along?” the travelers STOP and stand still, looking sad, frozen in the moment by the over-powering loss they feel.

Pastor N. F. writes (and I paraphrase)...Theirs is the kind of pain that catches your breath in your throat. We've felt it at the death of a friend, parent, spouse, or child. Even the death of a dream can trigger the frozen response when it tears the future or a relationship away.

Luke doesn't tell us how Jesus unfreezes these travelers but they continue telling their story to him. And when the travelers have told the story and acknowledged their loss of hope, the walking and talking continue, and the dialog gains energy as Jesus starts telling God’s story. Beginning with Moses and the prophets, the still unrecognized Jesus tells them the story of God’s intention for humanity – for all creation.

Once they reach Emmaus, the travelers stop once more, but this time it is to stop Jesus from leaving them. They compel him to stay with them at their home. And as Jesus gives thanks to God, breaks bread and gives it to them - in the breaking of bread he is known. God’s story and theirs is joined forever in the revelation that Jesus is God’s Son, crucified and raised.

So, as one sister preacher notes, Emmaus gives us a pattern for worship. We journey along, worried by our world, our hearts often broken with loss. We read from Scripture and our hearts burn as Jesus opens it up to us, and then we recognize him in the breaking of the bread, and then we journey forth in joy.

When we come to know Jesus, it is a moment frozen in time. When we experience Jesus as One who has died and been raised for us, it is a moment of transformation after which nothing is the same. It may be a dramatic reversal of direction …or a moment of enlightened awareness when our hearts are touched, opened, and transformed.

And when we come to know Jesus and are known by him, the joyful response to this new reality and new direction is to jump up and run to tell everyone we know. Isn't it? And if so, we never tire of telling the story of Jesus and us.

Pat Richardson, formerly a senior VP for Motorola, would often find himself in the elevator with CEO Bob Galvin. Bob would say, "Pat, what are you working on?" Pat says that he would have about 40 seconds to tell a clear, concise, compelling story. He called it his "Elevator Speech." If Bob liked it, you got to ride all the way up to the top floor with him. If he didn't, pushed the button for the next floor and told you to have a nice day.

You and I need to develop and be able to tell our “elevator speech” about Jesus, at all times, in all places, to all people.We need to be able to identify and flesh out one of more of the many ways Jesus has transformed our lives:
1. Jesus the New Life for those ensnared by sin, death and the devil - we are delivered from their power.
2. Jesus the Peace-giver for the Doubting and Dejected – We are restored.
3. Jesus the Promise Keeper for the Broken-hearted - We have hope.
4. Jesus the Caretaker - We journey through life in safety.
5. Jesus the Spiritual Guide to the Father - We trust.
6. Jesus the Full Revelation of God – We see God and believe.
7. Jesus the One in whom all creation is unified before God– We are community.

But maybe you are sitting here still frozen… Because …Yes…I am talking about evangelism.The big scary “E” word. I was on a transformational journey with 20 other women last weekend which happened to take place on a cruise ship. At one point when several of them were sitting in a hot tub along with another individual just talking , the word "evangelism" crept out, and so did the other individual in the hot-tub! He made a beeline out of there.

Perhaps we make evangelism scary and hard because we see it as a heavy duty rather than how we live, and live joyfully. Evangelism can scare the Jesus out of people if it’s all about 'rules'. Evangelism can scare the Jesus out of people if we are so forceful that we chase people away.

So whether we can identify our “elevator speech” about Jesus yet or not, we can, as God has created us to do, live and love each other...as a joy, rather than a chore…

Let me close with a story that a brother in Christ shared with me this week…

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.

ALL BUT ONE !!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.

He was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time, helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, 'Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?' She nodded through her tears... He continued on with, 'I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly.'

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, 'Mister...' He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, 'Are you Jesus?'

He stopped mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with the question burning in his heart: 'Are you Jesus?' Do people mistake you for Jesus? That's our destiny, what we were created for… to be so much like Jesus, that people see him as we live in and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.

If we have come to know Him and be known by Him, then ours is the call to live, walk, listen and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church, or even sharing in this life-giving meal. It's actually living the living Word as life unfolds before us day to day.

8 comments:

zorra said...

That's a powerful story, Revhoney. It will really preach. It already has.

will smama said...

Wow.
Powerful and I am pondering.

mompriest said...

Wow. really good...

also, I introduced your blog on the revgals Meet and Greet this morning...so welcome....

Diane said...

Wow, this is great! loved it, and especially the closing story.

and welcome to revgals, too.

Sally said...

wow, I like this a lot...just popped by from revgals to say welcome, and realised I have already visited your Friday 5 :-)

Jan said...

Welcome to RevGals!

LutheranChik said...

Great story!

In one of God's great ironies, I am a member of our church's new evangelism committee. I HATE stereotypical evangelism. I don't think we as a congregation have ever thought all that hard about evangelism (although our people are very good about bringing new folks in).

disa said...

情趣用品,情趣,A片下載,成人影城,愛情公寓,情色貼圖,情色,色情網站,色情遊戲,色情小說,情色文學,色情,aio交友愛情館,色情影片,臺灣情色網,寄情築園小遊戲,情色論壇,嘟嘟情人色網,情色視訊,愛情小說,言情小說,一葉情貼圖片區,情趣用品,情趣,色情漫畫,情色網,情色a片,情色遊戲,85cc成人片,嘟嘟成人網,成人網站,18成人,成人影片,成人交友網,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人光碟,微風成人區,免費成人影片,成人漫畫,成人文學,成人遊戲,成人電影,成人論壇,成人,做愛,aio,情色小說,ut聊天室,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080視訊聊天室,免費視訊聊天,哈啦聊天室,視訊聊天,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,6k聊天室,視訊聊天室,成人聊天室,中部人聊天室,免費視訊,視訊交友,視訊美女,視訊做愛,正妹牆,美女交友,玩美女人,美女,美女寫真,美女遊戲,hi5,hilive,hi5 tv,a383,微風論壇,微風