23.4.17 – Living With Our Living Lord – Rachel Judge

 

Searching God,

You keep on looking for us when we feel lost. You find us in the most unexpected places, and you draw us to find you, easily, openly. Take the scales from our eyes now, Lord Jesus, we pray, so we may see you and meet you in the midst of our realities and recognise you as Saviour and Lord.

Inhabit my words and our hearts now we pray for we are eager to embrace your truth for our times,

In Christ we pray,

Amen

 

Going for a walk makes a lot of sense.

We get from one place to another.

Our spirits are calmed.

We work through a problem in our minds as we move.

We chat with a friend on the way.

We arrive home in a buoyant mood, having thought and prayed, been transfixed by the views on the way and pondering on what we’ve come across as we’ve walked.

When we reach the stage we can’t walk so often or so far ………… now that’s a loss for which we grieve.

Sometimes also we are sad for what we can’t remember, or can’t quite discern or grasp a truth that is hovering within or around us.

It’s only later, when we’re home, and quiet, or wake up from a sleep, that we join the dots, that the truth of a situation dawns on us.

These guys, walking west to Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, were lost in their thoughts, and disappointment. Yes, the setting sun might have dazzled their eyes, to prevent them from recognising Jesus, but also their regret shadowed the truth.

We were hoping, they said to Jesus, about Jesus, it turns out, ‘that he was the one who would set Israel free.’

Christ is risen was our cry on Easter Sunday. This is the truth every day, not just when everyone else seems happy, when we sing victorious hymns and the grave is newly empty. Because Jesus rose from the dead every conversation has hope, and even grim situations can be redeemed.

The two downcast disciples on their way to Emmaus were so immersed in their grief that they failed to recognise Jesus beside them.

For various reasons we and others close to us may be downcast also. We and they may struggle to see past the shadows to the sunlight. The disciples’ hopes had been shattered. When Jesus came and talked naturally with them, ‘the meaning of life became clear and the darkness became light’ as William Barclay describes the two disciples’ experience. (The Gospel of Luke, by William Barclay, p. 295).

The casualties of war – lives, health, orphans, ruined cities, military personnel numbed and unable to live fully in healthy relationships, hellish memories, could be healed only by the light of Christ shining in the darkness.

The walk to Emmaus reminds us that all is never lost. The transformation of those two innocent followers as they journeyed with Jesus, unaware who he was during their walk together, remind us of the hope of the Living Lord Jesus eternally available to you and me and of our joyful duty to pass it on to everyone we meet.

The power of the resurrection of Jesus is much too good to keep to ourselves. Let’s gossip the gospel. We have the power of God’s Holy Spirit available to us to enable us to burst out of our narrow lives into the fullness of God’s glory as we greet Jesus, risen from the dead.

Listen to the impact on Thomas, the disciple who struggled to believe, who just couldn’t get his head around what had happened, then bit by bit pieces together the glorious truth, the miracle of God’s glory.

‘Thomas’ by Robert Siegel

The man was dead. He’d seen. And that was that.

He’d helped them bury him. The heart had stopped.

Later the women started in. Soon all were mad,

Jabbering about seeing him, his wounds. They dropped suddenyl

 

Everything else and huddled to see a ghost

Like the gentiles’ squeaking wraiths and spooks.

At last he agreed to look but locked the door – no

Tricks! Suddenly among them… he blinked and looked

 

Twice – He was. “Thomas, put your finger here.”

Thomas pressed the wounds – the hands, the side –

The flesh all torn pitifully. “My Lord, My God!”

Later he ate the fish and drank the wine.

 

Thomas handed him. Thomas never took his eyes

Off him, the living flesh, for which the starved heart cries.

 

If you want to live a full life, with our Risen Lord Jesus, ask him now to transform your life with his resurrection power.

Let’s pray in silence for his risen power to flow within us.

If you’re not sure how to pray, simply whisper to Him ‘Come, Lord Jesus, come.’

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