Welcome to our Sixth Friday Connection – 24th April 2020
Dear Friends it is good to meet together each week in this ‘connection’. As Christians we need to meet together to study the word of God and this week one of the readings we are looking at is Luke 24: 13-35, the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
As we walk along the Christian road we do not know what lies ahead. When we get to the end of the track will we turn left or right? Is there a bend in the road and what is beyond? Is there a hill to climb and what will be seen when we get to the top? Will it be a hard journey or a gentle stroll? Will we meet friends on the way? When we reach our destination will there be a reunion with family and friends and will they have a welcome meal waiting for us?
During the first meal in the Bible in Genesis 3 verses 6 & 7, the woman took some fruit and ate it. She gave some to her husband, and he ate it; then their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked. Death itself was traced to that moment of rebellion– the whole creation is subjected to decay, futility and sorrow.
Luke, echoes that story, in the first meal of the new creation in Jesus – “He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, then the eyes of both were opened and they recognised him” – Luke 24 verse 31. Death itself is defeated, God’s new creation, brimming over with life and joy and new possibility, has burst into the world of sorrow. The risen Jesus is the sign of this new world. Jesus has gone through death and entered a new world, a world of new and deathless creation.
I wonder if the disciples travelling on the Emmaus Road with that stranger noticed what sort of road they were travelling – was it stony, hilly, a hard climb? I think nothing about the road they were journeying would have been noticed or mattered as they listened to that stranger explaining the scriptures to them, the how, the why and the importance of Jesus and his life, death and resurrection . Can you remember when you first listened to or read this portion of scripture? Did your heart burn and did your imagination run riot as the experience of those disciples, not named and not the ones we know from the bible passages echoed in your life? We are not named in the Bible, though God knows each one of us intimately.
The travellers’ eyes, hearts and minds were opened as Jesus shared a meal with them and broke the bread and suddenly, at the breaking of bread, they knew with whom they had been travelling, that Christ had risen. Their real experience meant they had to turn around and rush back to tell the others what a miracle had happened. Their wonderful experience helps us to believe all that the Bible offers us through Jesus.
We are invited to listen to the exposition of the Bible, to have our hearts burning within us as fresh truth comes out from the pages. Only when we see the Old Testament reaching its climax in Jesus will we understand it.
We too are invited to know Jesus in the breaking of the bread. This is the central symbolic action of all Jesus’ people. Scripture and sacrament go together – we find Jesus in the Bible, in worship, but especially now walking alongside us on our road through life.
With our love and prayers, Terry and Irene