“Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the Scriptures.” -Luke 24;27
Before we start reflecting on this verse from the story of the road to Emmaus I just want to remind people of where we have come from at this point. The two people on the road are recounting the tales of Jesus of Nazareth and the recent event of his crucifixion and death. They were deep in mourning for the death of one they were expecting to have been the Messiah but now lost and now no doubt were doubting whether he was indeed the Messiah at all.
They had been expecting this king to arise out of Israel and save them from the Tyranny of the Romans and Herod and re-establish the throne of David, but that had now been dashed.
They however, had heard stories of Jesus not being in the tomb anymore and of Mary seeing angels and of Jesus having been raised and they were in a state of confusion and doubt.
These were two people who were behaving as if they were lost and bewildered as if their hopes that they had been searching for had been dashed and they were on a road that was not going anywhere. How often in our lives do we feel like that? How many times do we start thinking that we have it all planned and worked out and then it seemingly gets taken away? Or we build up a dependence on another person and then they move on? How bereft and bewildered we can feel at that point. Our pre-conceived notions and stability taken from under us and we don’t understand why or what we are now meant to do. This is where Cleopas and his companion were at this time, not noticing in fact that they were already on a road to a new revelation, that of the knowledge of the resurrected Christ.
Over Lent I have been studying a book on the journey of Abraham and in the book it speaks of moments just like this where we are on a journey but at the time are not aware of the journey that we are on and our tendency to miss signs along the way due to our narrow focus on the day to day issues that fill up our lives, giving ourselves no time to step back and reflect. This is exactly what was happening at this point to the two on their way to Emmaus who had not recognised that whilst they were caught up in the politics of the day they had not at this point come to recognise they were walking and speaking with the resurrected Christ. Jesus was in fact with them during their suffering , there as companion, there as shepherd, there as comforter through revealing of the scriptures to them. It is in this reflection on the scriptures and events in our lives that we too can also draw closer to understanding the journey that we are on and Christs revelation to us. It is for this reason that monks build into their week not only time to do and pray but also to read and study the Scriptures for it is through reflection on all these aspects that brings us into closer relationship and understanding of Christ. It is not necessary, however, to be a monk to do this and I would commend to us all here today to ensure we all take time in our week to study scripture and how God reveals himself to us through it and prayer. We should also take time to do this corporately and there are times to do this, this week through the daily services, through the film study where we can help each other along our journeys to a deeper relationship with Christ.
How wonderful it must have been as two who had forgotten the prophesies of old had them being explained to them in such clarity to leave little doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah and how often do we come across situations where the interpretation suddenly becomes clear to us and where we are then meant to go but not necessarily recognise the person supporting us at that time until looking back on it later. I think that is an important point, that we need to give ourselves time to properly reflect on people, advice, events of the day or our lives to begin to comprehend the journey we are on and where Jesus is in our lives.
Today we have been travelling through town in an act of prayer, in a walk of witness to the wider town community of which we are a part, as a strengthening of companionship within our church community. I hope it has been a time that we have all found valuable and I challenge us all to take a step back and reflect on where and how Jesus has engaged with us and revealed himself through the people we’ve talked to, the prayer we’ve engaged with, the sights we’ve seen and what does that tell us about the journey we are going to embark on going forward.
There are times during the rest of the week to explore this further in film study, bingo and natter, through prayers of healing and messy church all of which I commend to you as further ways of connecting with Christ and letting him reveal more of the journey to you through our joint exploration and through the scriptures.