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Monday, August 12, 2013

Recognizing the differnce between Visitors and Family!

LUKE 24: 13-35

On the Road to Emmaus

13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were going to a village called Emmaus. It was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
15 As they talked about those things, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him.17 Jesus asked them, “What are you talking about as you walk along?”
They stood still, and their faces were sad. 18 One of them was named Cleopas. He said to Jesus, “You must be a visitor to Jerusalem. If you lived there, you would know the things that have happened there in the last few days.”19 “What things?” Jesus asked.“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet. He was powerful in what he said and did in the eyes of God and all of the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed Jesus over to be sentenced to death. They nailed him to a cross. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to set Israel free. Also, it is the third day since all this happened.

22 “Some of our women amazed us too. Early this morning they went to the tomb. 23 But they didn’t find his body. So they came and told us what they had seen. They saw angels, who said Jesus was alive. 24 Then some of our friends went to the tomb. They saw it was empty, just as the women had said. They didn’t see Jesus’ body there.” 25Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are! How long it takes you to believe all that the prophets said! 26 Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and then receive his glory?”
27 Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures. He began with Moses and all the Prophets. 28 The two men approached the village where they were going. Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29 But they tried hard to keep him from leaving. They said, “Stay with us. It is nearly evening. The day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.30 He joined them at the table. Then he took bread and gave thanks. He broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. But then he disappeared from their sight.32 They said to each other, “He talked with us on the road. He opened the Scriptures to us. Weren’t our hearts burning inside us during that time?”33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them. They were all gathered together. 34 They were saying, “It’s true! The Lord has risen! He has appeared to Simon!”35 Then the two of them told what had happened to them on the way. They told how they had recognized Jesus when he broke the bread.

Greetings family in the body of Christ, indeed it has been awhile and it feels great to share the word/bread of life with you yet again. In today's text from Luke 24, we encounter two followers of Christ on the road to Emmaus (or getting out of dodge is the expression I would use here). As they exit the city of Jerusalem a stranger approaches them and they treat the stranger somewhat harshly. However by the end of the trip the once expected VISITOR turns out to be FAMILY after-all, Jesus himself! Imagine the burst of joy and shame these two followers felt excited that Christ is ALIVE and sorrowful about how they treated him as a visitor.

Have you ever attended a family reunion and commented on someones attire, behavior, or social skills only to find out later that the person you spoke negatively about is your favorite Aunt/Uncles child or your first cousin? Then would you feel bad about those things you said or were thinking? Well then remember always Jesus is God only begotten son, not made or created but begotten. Secondly remember that we are all God's children created in God's image. So from now on don't dismiss people as visitors (i.e. the homeless, the diseased, the poor, the marginalized) but embrace everyone as family until proven different. From now on take the time to recognize between family and visitors because we never know how the trip will end.

Dear God remind us to be slow to judge and quick to love, slow to anger and quick to lend a helping hand. To you we pray. Amen.

Be well, Love Pastor Jackson  

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