Updated: Jun 7, 2020
Bible Reading: Luke 24:13-35
Theme: Lord Stay with us
“As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him; and he vanished from their sight.”
Beloved in the Lord Jesus Christ, I bring you special greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This is the exalted name and the name that is above every name. At the mention of this name, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue should acknowledge and confess that indeed Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).
Today is the second Sunday after Easter and we are looking at one of the remarkable events that took place after the Lord rose from the dead. According to Saint Luke, on that same day when the Lord rose from the dead, two of his disciples (including Cleopas) were going to a village called Emmaus, which is about seven miles away from Jerusalem. And whilst they were talking about the events surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Lord himself appeared to them and walked side by side with them, but they could not recognise him. Then as a fellow traveller, Jesus also got involved in the conversation, and by engaging them and contributing to the discussions. He also then demanded to know what this story making news in and around Jerusalem is all about. I am sure these two disciples were really shocked about the ignorance displayed by this third person, who turns out to be the risen Christ about the latest news making headline in the local newspapers and on the television channels in Jerusalem. Looking at each other’s face, in their mind, perhaps they would be saying - who is this asking this strange question? And when they cannot continue holding their opinion about this strange man to themselves, they confronted him by asking probably sarcastically “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” The Lord pretended as if he knew nothing about what they were talking about. And when they realised that their fellow traveller actually did not about they were discussing, they took their time and told him all that took place from Good Friday to Easter Sunday morning. As they came near the village to which they were going, Jesus walked ahead as if he were going on. But the disciples urged him strongly to stay with them because it was late. Jesus accepted this invitation and became their guest. And when he was having dinner with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes got opened and they realised it was the Lord. But before they could say anything or express their joy about seeing the Lord, he disappeared from their sight completely and miraculously. We live in very bad and frightening times where many people hardly feel or know the presence of the Lord around them in their daily walk. Especially, at this time when COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate our world and destroying the lives of our relatives and the livelihoods of many people, many of us are feeling that we are in it all alone. Others are also asking where God is in all of this. But like those followers of Jesus on the way to Emmaus, the Lord is walking beside us and talking to us even in the moments of pain, confusion, and fear and bring healing and comfort. We are never left alone as the psalmist says “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me” (Psalm 23). You may be unconscious about the presence of the Lord with you this day but just like those two travellers, the Lord is by your side. And as the invitation to Jesus to stay with them led to the opening of their eyes to the true identity of their visitor, when you also, invite the Lord into your life today, he would come in and stay with you and reveal himself to you and you would know that he is actually walking beside you all this while. Indeed, there is no doubt that the Lord Jesus Christ is so close to you than you ever thought. I pray that you feel the presence of the Lord this day and the days ahead. May the Lord Jesus Christ send peace to our broken world and may that peace be your experience individually and collectively as a family.
Rev. Confidence Bansah (Ph.D.)
Minister of St. George’s and Christ Church