Monday, April 17, 2006

on the road . . . emmaus and our mess

So we read a bit from Luke 24 last night during our Easter feast - here it is:

13That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem, 14and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, "What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad. 18Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" 19And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see." 25And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29but they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?" 33And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

faith is uncontrollable - it collides with us in ways that is not often logical or even consistent with our our so-called systematic theologies. faith is messy and mysterious - directed only by the unseen breath of the holy spirit; heaving the mysteries of the universe at us during a walk begun in depression & heartache - ending during a meal with a disguised stranger. it is no wonder jesus plays hide and seek in the last, the lost, and the least of our world as he describes in Matthew 25.

it seems the burning bush really doesn't ever stop from happening; it simply appears in unexpected forms and places - asking of us only that we may perceive things anew - see with a new set of eyes if you will. these two men traveling to emmaus found that the burning occurred on the inside of their bodies and when the bread was broken and blessed and the identity of jesus was revealed and the stranger disappeared they immediately ran back (seven miles! brilliant) to the same city where their depression began in order to tell their friends that something new was afoot and fresh in the kingdom of god.

and as these two sat telling of their recent experiences with the hidden jesus to their friends in Jerusalem perhaps they shared a few good bottles of pinot so as to finish the communion supper that had already begun in emmaus - an extended and always extending eucharist if you will . . . and perhaps they were all thinking and discussing excitedly in their own ways - when will he come next? and will I recognize him? and will my heart burn as it is burning now? or will it burn more so . . .


Blogger Erica Murray Wright said...

thanks for getting this going brian. i think this blog can be a powerful tool to connect "us" to "each other".

11:24 AM  

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