A message for the 3rd Sunday in Easter from Rev Dr Tom Nibbe
Grace and peace, Sisters and Brothers in the Lord!
Scriptural Lessons from the New International Version of the Bible (NIV)
Acts 2:14a, 36-41 "...repent and be baptized and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit..."
1 Peter 1:17-23 "...For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable..."
Psalm 116:1-19 "...I was overcome by distress and sorrow..." "...then I called on the name of the Lord..."
Luke 24:13-35 "...their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus (Him)..."
We note details in Luke's narrative about our experience of walking with God.
The Road to Emmaus
THEIR NARRATIVE WAS DETAILED AND ACCURATE
They communicated all the events of the past week with great accuracy and detail. Indeed, the "powers that be" sentenced Jesus to death and they crucified Him. They related the "unconfirmed yet" fact of His resurrection. Jesus at this point spoke up in addressing their testimony.
THEY DIDN'T COMBINE LIFE NARRATIVE WITH KNOWLEDGE OF SCRIPTURE
Jesus said to them, "How foolish you are and how slow of heart to believe..." (What?) "...all that the prophets have spoken..."
What had they spoken (and where in Scripture?) "...that the Christ has to suffer all these things and then enter
His glory..." They arrived at Emmaus and they urged Him to stay with them because it was getting late.
THEIR EYES WERE OPENED AND THEY RECOGNIZED HIM
At the dinner table he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and distributed the bread. How much this act of Jesus in their midst reminds me of Holy Communion.
JESUS WAS RECOGNIZED BY THEM WHEN HE BROKE THE BREAD
Our encounter with the Lord Jesus is our "daily walk" with Him. Unlike the two followers journeying one time only to Emmaus, our experience with Jesus is a daily journey, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we get to have - each and every day - as we proceed to our destination in dialogue along the way. He will open up the secrets of the universe for each of us. He will grant us "peace" when we are faced with the discomforts, the outrages, and the humiliations of this age. He will bestow an overwhelming personal sense of His "perfect love" when we question our worth or effectiveness.
Even in times when we are on alert for some reason, when times are uncertain, and where rumors are rampant, we will have His peace and His love in abundance. As the old hymn says, "He walks with us, He talks with us, He tells us we are His own." Jesus is simply right there. Still can't figure out why His two followers couldn't recognize Jesus. "It causeth me to tremble, tremble, tremble" as I need to let it go.
In short, as the Gospel narrative suggests, our faith concerns are not about about mere religion, they're not about imprisoning obligations, nor about "rules and regulations", especially for the sake of rules and regulations. It's about a relationship with God, and God in human flesh, and Jesus resurrected. It's about the companionship we have in our earthly journey with the co-Creator of the universe. All too often it happens we feel we are all alone.
All too often, it happens, that when we stand fast on some issue of "principle" we think we are all alone. In situations like this, don't lack the discernment to know His presence. In Him, there to comfort and assurance.
You are in good fellowship with - the One death could not hold down - the One who walks with you.
Love the Gospel lesson for this Sunday.
Cordially, Pastor Tom
P.S. Email me if you need help on your daily walk