Thursday, May 4, 2017

Clergy Comment column

Here is my article published in the May 4, 2017 Camrose Canadian Clergy Comment column.
   Last Sunday was the third Sunday of Easter. The gospel reading was Luke 24:13-35, the story of two followers of Jesus, Cleopas and an unnamed one. They are journeying from Jerusalem to a village named Emmaus, walking and talking about the passion and death of Jesus, looking sad and trying to process their grief.
   Suddenly the risen Jesus appears and engages them in a conversation. Yet, ironically, they don’t realize it’s Jesus. In their conversation with Jesus there are words of sorrow, disappointment, and uncertainty. Jesus then provides them with a brilliant interpretation of the scriptures, fulfilled prophecies concerning himself and the recent events. They arrive at Emmaus and invite Jesus in to eat with them. As they share a meal together, Luke tells us that “their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.” Afterwards they reflect on their encounter with Jesus, recalling how their hearts were burning within them as Jesus opened up the scriptures to them.
   Each one of us is also on an Emmaus road journey. We, like those two followers of Jesus, travel through all of the different stages of the journey. As life events unfold, we move from adventure, joy and contentment through to sorrow, grief, doubt, despair and disappointment. Our eyes are kept from recognizing Jesus—even though he walks with us on our Emmaus road.
   We, like the two followers of Jesus, miss him as we journey through the daily events of our lives. Yet he is there with us, speaking through the people we encounter and the activities of each day. Sometimes our fears, doubts and disappointments prevent us from understanding the scriptures. Even then, Christ is with us and leads us through every stage of our Emmaus road journey.
   No matter how hopeless, hurt and uncertain we may feel, Jesus refuses to give up on us. His love is always there for us. We, like those two followers of Jesus on the road to Emmaus have much to learn as we journey on. We, like they, need his word and his meal, the Lord’s Supper, to open our hearts, minds and lives so that we see him with us in our life and faith journeys.
   As the events of the world and the church continue to unfold, our calling as followers of Jesus is clear. We, like Christians throughout the centuries are called to proclaim and live the words: “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!” For we are a resurrection people, even in the most hopeless situations individually, as well as in the church and the world can become hopeful—thanks to the risen Christ!  

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