Scripture Readings: Acts 2: 37-42 & Luke 24:13-35
The day after tomorrow is ANZAC Day, when we honour a generation of
young people from Australia and New Zealand and elsewhere who gave
their lives so we can live in freedom and peace. We need to remember
the troops and veterans and their self-sacrifices. ANZAC day is the day
that we remember the loss and sacrifice of the young people who protect
other people’s freedom. In this time of peace, we will remember them
and pray for them and their families.
Today’s story is only found in the Gospel of Luke. The two disciples were
on their way to Emmaus, recalling the past and the cross. Their attention to
their loss and sorrow prevented them from focusing on God and finding
what God was doing for them. The resurrected Jesus joins the two
travellers on the way to Emmaus. When the two disciples focused on a
conversation, their conversation was interrupted by a new traveller,
Jesus. As he walked quietly with them, sadness was inscribed all over
their faces and they did not recognize him. However, their lack of
recognition came because God kept them from recognizing him until
God was ready for the Son to be known.
The resurrected Lord visited the disciples directly. His coming was not
limited to the 12 disciples either. He even came to the disciples whose
names do not appear in the Bible and to the disciples who seemed to
have no hope. Distance was not a limit to meeting the Lord. The Lord
has walked a long way with them for a long time.
Jesus breaks bread with Emmaus’ companions. He revealed himself to
two disciples who were walking to Emmaus through interpreting
Scripture and breaking bread. When Jesus blesses and breaks bread,
they recognize him with whom they have been walking and talking. They
knew something special was happening as they heard Jesus explain
Scripture, but they did not know him until they broke bread together.
They knew their hearts burned. A big transformation occurs within them;
they shift from a state of sadness to a state of hearts burning with hope.
Right after that, they return to Jerusalem to tell the other followers of
Jesus what they have experienced.
This resurrection story takes us back to the night of the Lord’s Supper.
Resurrection faith is more than just physical presence and sight. It
depends on spiritual presence and spiritual sight. Risen Christ
accompanies us into the unknown and challenges us to see the world
with new eyes. In our lives, Emmaus may be anywhere and happens
here and now. We are given opportunities repeatedly to be changed by
the risen Christ. May we see our Risen Christ and His work with new
eyes. Emmaus comes into our lives wherever we walk with Jesus and
whenever we recognize the risen Christ among us.
In Acts 2: 36–41, Peter and the other apostles proclaim to the gathered
crowd the crucified Jesus. When Peter tells the story, the listeners are
cut to the heart recognizing the truth of what they hear. When they had
asked how to respond, Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every
one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (v.38) Those who
accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were
added to their number that day. They became some of the first members
of the church and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to
fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
We have been cut to the heart in the power of God’s word and the
presence of the Holy Spirit, but sometimes nothing changes even before
the Risen Christ. We have been transformed in the grace of God, but our
hearts sometimes miss out God’s grace and love. When we are walking
on the road of life and ministry, do we recognise the presence of Risen
Christ? Whenever we try to live out the gospel, do we have heart
burning or passion? I believe that God helps us to see more grace and
love and joy.
As a community is transformed by Peter’s testimony to the risen Christ,
we are invited to transform our lives to new life in Christ. Even when we
are hardened with so many reasons, the Risen Christ comes and walks
beside us, and God expands the vision of our hearts and leads us to
grow in faith. May we see and experience how God is changing our
Women, the Emmaus Road walkers, Peter, and all apostles added their
testimony. For people, personal testimony about being with the risen
Jesus was the necessary factor to make the resurrection story
believable. Our testimonies are also needed as ingredients to make
people genuine Christians or to add more Christians who believe in
crucified and risen Christ.
What they had experienced, and good news must be shared in wider
communities. God always creates space for the other in order that true
communities might be formed. We are already in many kinds of
communities, but our changes create new communities. Those
transformed by the grace of the Risen Christ need to become witnesses
to others that other people might come to know Jesus through our
worship, life, and breaking of the bread.
What are the new ways in which God’s Spirit inspires and shapes the
Christian community today? The Holy Spirit is guiding the people of God
into new life, and a sacred community called the church is being born
and continued. Today is the third Sunday of Easter. It is a time for
congregations to re-join God’s work and movement with joy. AGM will be
held after Sunday Service, I am truly thankful that the Leighmoor
congregation is a faith community that is spiritually mature, emotionally
encouraging, generously supportive, and diligently serving in Christ. May
we glorify God more and more through all kinds of services and
ministries as God’s co-workers and Jesus’ disciples.
May we experience Jesus’ presence whenever we celebrate the Lord’s
Supper. I pray that God will make us aware of the power of the Holy
Spirit in our lives. Jesus comes and joins our journey as He joined their
journey on the road of broken dreams. May we find hope and assurance
even in the dark moments of life from our faith in the resurrection of
Jesus. In our faith journey, Jesus’ Easter love embraces the brokenness
of betrayal and cross and illuminates hidden hope. In walking with
Jesus, on the road to the Risen Christ, the weary travellers feel alive;
their hearts are renewed.
Sometimes, our hearts are heavy with the burden of grief and suffering,
but may our hearts see more grace and love during the season of
Easter. May our Leighmoor church worship the risen Lord with joy and
praise and share our love through the Lord’s table and breaking of bread
and all beautiful ministries.
“The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”
Thanks be to God! Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)