April 23rd, 2023 – Pastor Elizabeth

3 Easter Year A // April 23, 2023 // Luke 24:13-35

What We Had Hoped

Luke 24:13-35

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But 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 took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory? Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went into stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures’ to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem, and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Let us pray. Like the disciples on the road, we face disappointment and hopelessness. Help us to pay attention and see that you are near us wherever we go. Amen.

As they were walking home from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus, two of Jesus’ disciples were discouraged. The events of the last few days surrounding the torture and death of Jesus had left them with little hope. As Jesus fell in step next to them, they surprisingly didn’t recognize him. So they vented to him about their deep disappointment. These disciples, like all of us, were on a journey. But for these two travelers, their road had taken an unexpected turn. All of us are on a journey, too. It’s important to note that even though we aren’t physically moving from place to place we are still on a journey – on that for many is confusing and scary and frustrating. For others that must go out to care for and protect others it may be a dangerous journey indeed. What kiknd of journey are you on right now? Are you moving in a positive direction? Or from on dead end to another? Are you on a path of joy or despair?

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