Expecting Jesus

My reflection from Sunday April 26

READING: Luke 24:13-35


Usually, the story of the encounter of the disciples on their way to Emmaus is an opportunity to talk about communion, about how we encounter Jesus through our participation in the sacrament that He taught us.

And we do encounter Him in the sacrament of bread and wine. No matter what else is happening during a service; no matter if the sermon is terrible, or the readings don’t make any sense, or if I’m distracted or worried or just not feeling particularly “churchy,” when it comes time to receive the bread and the wine; I have always encountered the “peace that passes understanding.”

There is nothing I treasure more than moving from person to person and sharing the very stuff of Christ.

There is little I miss more in these strange times.

And I expect there are many of you who feel the same.

So many of our habits, assumptions, presumptions, and desires have been upended in the past month and a half. So much of what we took for granted has been upended, and I don’t think that when, eventually, we are able to be less isolated that we are now, that everything will go back to what it was in mid-March.

Especially not here in church. I have dreamed of a Sunday when we would all return to our sanctuary together and we would celebrate – big time.

I’m not so sure it’s going to be like that though. What if we can only gather 10 or twenty at a time at first? And without a vaccine or sure cure, what of those of us with conditions that exacerbate our risks?

And we’ve been connecting with people who already weren’t able to join us in person; surely we don’t intend to just cut them off again once we can gather in person?

So whatever “church” looks like in the future; we won’t be wholly leaving behind what we’ve drawn from our experience these past six weeks.

So I think it might be helpful for us to go back to the story of the travelers on their way to Emmaus. They travelled all day with Jesus, completely unaware of his presence and yet feeling it and benefitting from it nevertheless.

Because I think that’s where we are. I know I can relate to the sense of bewilderment and sadness of these two over what they feel they’ve lost.

But I also believe that Jesus has been walking with us. The breaking of the bread may be the epiphany in this story, but the real meat of it is the journey itself. What is Jesus showing us in these experiences? How is God transforming this trying period to further God’s kingdom?

These are the kinds of questions I’ve been discerning for myself and I invite you to do the same.

Cleopas and his companion weren’t expecting Jesus and so they couldn’t see him. We on the other hand, can trust in our knowledge of the Resurrection and Christ’s promise to be with us so we need not be blind to Him and his work among us.


Thanks be to God

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