Summary: A sermon about the Walking with Jesus.
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
Rock band, Green Day, has a song which have some lyrics which go like this:
"I walk this empty street
On the boulevard of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one and I walk alone
My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there would find me
Till then I walk alone"
I wonder if the "two disciples" in our Gospel Lesson for this morning felt as if they were walking "alone" on "the Boulevard of Broken Dreams," as they headed out of Jerusalem--that city which had become for them "The City of Horrors"--on that first Easter and toward the town of Emmaus.
We are told that they were "talking to each other about everything that had happened."
No doubt, their hearts and their words were heavy as lead.
Oftentimes when our hopes and dreams have been smashed we feel as if it is the end of the world.
We feel as if we can never be happy again.
The dark chasm of doom and gloom envelop us--and we can't see a future.
It's at these times that we need to remember that it does get better!!!
And that is because we don't "walk alone"!!!
How many times in your life have you felt you were at the end of your rope?
How many times did it feel as if you could no longer go on?
Perhaps you feel that way now.
Perhaps you are suffering from a life-threatening illness.
Maybe some horrible tragedy has struck you and your household.
You might suffer from deep depression.
Maybe you are struggling with your faith.
Perhaps you have lost a loved one.
Perhaps you are going through a divorce.
I know, from experience, that this can seem like the end of the world.
When this was happening to me, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to go on.
The darkness I felt was so very dark.
I had hit "rock bottom."
Then one night, when all else was lost, I experienced the Real Presence of Christ in such a powerful way that I was able to actually rejoice and practically shout for joy--even amidst my suffering.
I called up my best friend, and between sobs of praise, I said: "It's going to be alright!!!"
"Rock bottom isn't such a bad place to be--because Jesus is here."
After this, I started reading and praying what is called "A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition" several times a day.
(Butch, Please put the Prayer on the Screen)
Let's pray this prayer together right now.
I call it "the prayer of perfect freedom."
When I started praying this prayer regularly, I also prayed to God that I would truly mean what I pray.
If we can get to the point where we really pray this prayer for "real"--I believe we are truly free.
It's a prayer about trusting God.
It's a prayer about wanting to live within the will of God--whatever that will may mean.
It's a prayer that says, "If all I have is Jesus--that's MORE than enough."
Let us pray.
(pause while praying, Butch, please take the prayer off the screen after we pray)
I hope we will keep this prayer with us at all times, and pray it regularly.
It will change our lives if we do.