Last Sunday we heard from the Gospel of John the resurrection account of Jesus appearing before his disciples.
The disciples are in their house with the doors locked.
Suddenly the risen Jesus appears before them in their home.
This morning we hear of the resurrection of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke.
This Bible reading is another account of the resurrection of Jesus.
I love these resurrection stories that we hear during the season of Easter.
These stories give witness and testimony to our Lord’s resurrection from the dead.
Each time we hear these resurrection accounts proclaimed within the assembly, and this morning through our virtual assembly, we announce to the world that Christ is alive and that Christ is with us still.
He is here among us this morning.
He is forgiving us.
He is giving us grace.
He is giving us peace.
He is revealing himself to us.
Two disciples were walking to Emmaus.
While they are walking and discussing what just happened to Jesus a stranger comes near.
The disciples do not recognize who this man is.
And interestingly Jesus does not tell them who he is.
Instead Jesus acts as if he does not know what’s going on.
The disciples tell Jesus exactly what happened.
And then Jesus does what Jesus does best he begins to teach his disciples about the true meaning of the Scriptures.
He tells them about how the Messiah must suffer in the way that he did and then he will enter into glory.
He speaks about how the Messiah’s suffering and passion becomes the door to eternal life and eternal glory.
Then he interprets God’s Word to his disciples.
Beginning with Moses and then speaking about the great prophets from the Old Testament.
The disciples are completely taken by this stranger.
In fact, they are so drawn to this stranger that they do not want this man to leave them.
So, they do something that we must pay attention to in this Scripture reading.
They invite him to come and to stay for supper.
Verse twenty-nine says, “They urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and day is almost over.”
In the same way Jesus comes to us.
Jesus speaks to us.
But we need to invite him to come and to eat with us.
The disciples seize the moment.
They invite Jesus to stay with them and Jesus stays with them.
Now shortly after this invitation occurs and the disciples are home a miracle happens.
When they are at the table Jesus takes bread.
He blesses the bread.
He breaks the bread.
And then he gives the bread to his beloved disciples.
In the holy moment that this happens finally the disciples see the risen Lord.
Their eyes are opened and they know without a doubt that Jesus is alive and that the stranger is Jesus.
But as soon as this realization occurs Jesus disappears.
And they are once again separated from Jesus.
But even though they are separated from Jesus the real experience of being with their Lord burns deeply in their hearts.
They will never be the same again.
Jesus was with them.
Jesus will return to be with them forever.
This morning this is our hope as well.
We have hope that Christ will reveal himself to us even now.
We have hope that Jesus will return to be with us forever.
We believe by faith that when we gather around the Word of God that Jesus reveals his presence to us.
We believe by faith that when we gather around a shared meal that Jesus reveals his presence to us.
Right now, we are experiencing worship in a way that none of us have ever experienced worship before.
How do we understand worship when we are not present in the same space?
Does the Word of God have the same impact?
How do we share in a meal together?
These are questions that the modern church has never had to wrestle with before.
But we are wrestling with them now.
We are being asked to take another step forward with our faith.
Can the living Jesus speak to us just as much now as he did when we could freely gather together as the people of God?
Can our faith take that giant leap forward?
Will this leap put a crack in our faith or will it enlarge our faith and make it grow?
Can this time be a time where we find an increase in our faith and commitment to Jesus?
I have been reflecting upon this a lot during this pandemic.
Now with a broken arm I am doing even less but I am still thinking.
I cannot exercise or do some of the activities I enjoy I doing so I have decided to use this time to strengthen my mind and my spirit.
One thing that I have been doing a lot right now is meditating.
I take twenty to thirty minutes to be still, to pray, and to stay in the present moment.
Not only has meditation been strengthening my spirit and helping to raise my mind out of despair but it is helping me to manage the pain I feel from my broken arm.
Our mental health is so critical at a time like this.
When we cannot freely gather together.
When we have other stressors in our lives.
We need to tend to our minds and to our souls.
Last week I encouraged us to remember to breathe deeply during our days and to use our breathing as a tool for prayer.
To breathe in a prayer and to breathe out a prayer.
This coming week I encourage us to trust in the risen Jesus with us even now.
Take a few minutes everyday to be still and to pray.
You can set your phone to two minutes or five minutes or more and simply sit and invite Jesus to be with you during that time.
That simple practice can do wonders for your mind and soul.
I know how much it is helping me.
Jesus reveals himself to us when we invite him to come and to be with us.
Sometimes the distractions of life prevent us from calling on him and inviting him to stay with us.
But right now, in our lives it is as if a giant pause button has been turned on and we are forced to figure out how to deal with this great pause.
How will we make sense of this time?
How will we find meaning?
Can we enter more deeply into this time and discover that Jesus is taking our faith to a different place?
He is leading us forward, walking with us, revealing his presence to us even now.
Can we have that kind of faith that says yes, Lord you are here and we recognize you for our eyes are opened.
This morning let us trust that Christ is with us.