Archives

The Road to Emmaus

Two men travelled to the village of Emmaus, seven miles distance from Jerusalem. The most momentous events in human history had just occurred. For three years, Jesus, a carpenter’s son, had healed the sick, raised the dead, taught the multitudes and gathered a group of disciples to carry on his mission. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah. He drew massive crowds, which filled the religious  leaders of the time with anger, jealousy, and since the Jews were under Roman occupation, probably fear. They stirred up the same crowd who had laid their coats and tree branches on the ground just days before to welcome Jesus as king, to call for his death by crucifixion. He was flogged and hung on a tree, left to die as a common criminal.

Now rumours were circulating that Jesus was alive, risen from the dead!

Did  the men understand what had happened, that the destiny of mankind would never be the same? It appears not. They met a man on the way whom they failed to recognize. At first, this man seemed to have no idea what had transpired in Jerusalem. Then, to their amazement, “he explained to them  what was said in all  the Scriptures concerning himself'” (Luke 24: 27b, NIV). Something stirred in their spirits but still they had no idea who the stranger was.

They stopped at a house and  the man broke bread and handed it to them. Then suddenly, they recognized that the stranger was Jesus and the stories of his resurrection were true! In their confusion and disappointment, they had not realized that Jesus had been sharing with and teaching them, as they were together on the road.

We all travel the road to Emmaus. Things happen that we don’t expect, can’t comprehend or have no answer to. Jesus is always with us but do we always recognize him? Perhaps we need wisdom but don’t recognize God’s voice, even though the answer is right in front of us. We need comfort and fail to see all the little blessings God sends us each day.We are in grief or pain but don’t hear the small voice speaking words of love to our spirits. Or, someone needs our care and we walk by, not realizing that God is calling us to extend our hands and hearts.

For some reason, this story holds great appeal for me. God has answered prayers in ways that I could never have anticipated.  Sometimes, when I listen, I can sense his spirit assuring me that he has the problems I face well under control, that it is only a matter  of waiting.

Look for God on your own road to Emmaus. He will be there, drawing you with his love, comforting you in times of sorrow, pouring out his blessings and giving you the wisdom you seek. Ask him to reveal himself to you and he will break bread before your eyes.

Christ has risen, and because He has risen, all things are possible!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resurrection

Today, as I walked outside into the bright sunshine glinting off the snow, a bird landed in the tree in our yard. I wondered if it could be a robin.The bird turned enough that I could see its red breast. “I just saw my first robin!” I exclaimed excitedly to the mail lady, who was just walking up the steps of our porch. She was pleased too. In this land of snow and ice, the sight of a robin warmed our hearts.

The locals say this has been the worst winter Nova Scotia has experienced in many years. Even White Juan, in 2004, did not fill our streets and sidewalks with so much snow. It is almost Easter and gritty snow banks are piled high. Sometimes, it seems impossible to believe that the snow will ever disappear and spring take over its destined place.

Yet the little robin gives me hope. The sun is also a little warmer and there are daffodil shoots in my garden,in a small space where the snow has melted. The towering snow banks will disappear and once more the season of growth will arrive.

When Jesus died on the cross, it must have appeared to his disciples that all their hopes had died with him. Although he had told them he would rise again, they didn’t appear to understand what he meant. We can only imagine the despair and darkness that must have filled their hearts during the terrible hours following the crucifixion.

However, death had no hold on Jesus. The resurrection occurred, at this specific and appointed time in history, and the chains of sin, fear and hopelessness fell off the human race. The disciples were overjoyed and spread the good news. People continue today to experience peace and joy, as they make the decision to accept God’s free gift of grace.

Spring will come to Nova Scotia and new life will be given to all who ask.

Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday!

Coventry, a lesson in forgiveness

In Coventry, England, two churches stand side by side. One is a bomb shelled husk, a grim reminder of the flames and devastation of World War 2. The other is the new church, built after the old one was destroyed. Two churches. Two messages. One symbolizes the horrors of death, while the other the miracles of life and restoration.

Why is the old church still standing? To the people of Coventry, the sight of the bombed structure is a reminder that good triumphs over evil. When German bombs destroyed lives and property, in a 10 hour attack on the city, the people chose to focus on forgiveness.

As Easter approaches, Christians focus on two symbols of faith: the cross and the empty tomb. One represents sacrifice and death, the other resurrection and life. We are reminded that as Christ sacrificed his life for us, we need to share his love with others. Sharing Christ’s love in an imperfect world always requires forgiveness.

What would have happened if the people of Coventry had decided not to forgive? They would have lost the opportunity, not only for their own healing, but for the privilege of being an  example of faith and hope to the rest of the world. Forgiveness is always the most powerful option and Jesus has shown us the way through the cross and the empty tomb.

Have a blessed Easter!