My Dear Friends,

Around this time of the Christian Year the Church Community considers Luke’s account of the Emmaus Road. The HOPE which Jesus’ disciples had / died when he did. The Grave sealed off all expectations; and all they could really do now was to go back home in sorrow and disappointment and disillusionment and despair. There was no going back to normal; and nothing could ever be the same again.

On that journey home to Emmaus two of Jesus’ disciples met a stranger and their hopes began to live again. This is a story of great uplift and encouragement to those whose spirits are low. These verses in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 24: 13 – 35) clearly affirm that, by the Power of God, Jesus overcame the very worst and the seemingly impossible. Because HE is risen OUR hopes can rise also!

He came alongside them – as one of them. A fellow-traveller on the same road. Quietly and unobtrusively he met them on their journey and accompanied them on the road. These disciples were broken and dis-spirited; and they sorely needed to be encouraged, revived and uplifted. The stranger’s words brought them help, comfort, and reassurance; and they wanted to know more. They invited him into their home; and as their minds became clearer they recognised him! My Friends, when our hope and faith burn low, we should invite and welcome the Risen Christ into our lives as we search the Scriptures.

That night these disciples made a great discovery. They were given a sudden glimpse and awareness of the great spiritual and eternal realities that underlie our existence, and encompass us around. Now they had a message of hope and encouragement – and they wanted to share it with others.

Surely this Gospel passage encourages us to let Christ’s Presence walk beside us on the road. It urges us to TALK to him; and to pour out our hearts to him – our problems and fears and anxieties and worries. It exhorts us to read again the great promises of the Scriptures. (Think of Noah’s Rainbow!) Let Christ clear our minds and warm our hearts.

The Emmaus Road experience is about minds reassured, and hearts warmed, and souls uplifted and encouraged. This assurance enabled them to go back into the routine of life once more – strengthened and inspired to share and to serve.

Liz joins me in sending our love to you all,