Summary: Life is filled with hopless situations. (illustration Harry Truman election) The two disciples on the Road to Emmaus felt hopless. Their encounter with the Living God shows how God through his Holy Spirit would enable us to have the same experience.

In Jesus Holy Name April 6, 2008

Easter II Redeemer

Text: Luke 24:13-35

“Experiencing the Presence of God”

He is risen! He is risen indeed! The word of the angel spoken at the empty tomb of Jesus tells us that God has, in His Son, gives us hope for the most hopeless situations

Hopeless situations. In 1948, Harry Truman was running for the Presidency of the United States. His was, quite frankly, a hopeless situation. Every public opinion poll predicted that his opponent, Thomas Dewey, would give Truman a through drubbing. Newsweek went to the top 50 political pundits in the country and asked for their opinion. They agreed: Dewey would have a hundred more electoral votes than he needed. The Fort Lauderdale Daily News published a prediction which said that Dewey would get 62 percent of the vote…at least.

Life magazine featured a full page picture of Dewey with the caption, “The new President travels by ferry boat over the broad waters of San Francisco Bay.” The Kiplinger Letter, a favorite among businessmen, had an article on the economic policies of the Dewey administration. Truman’s re election was hopeless. The Manchester Guardian carried a report entitled, “Harry S. Truman… Study of a Failure”. And of course, the Chicago Trib had already gone to press with an edition which headlined, “Dewey Defeats Truman!”

It was a hopeless situation. On election night, Dewey in New York wrote his acceptance speech, while Truman, in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, ate a ham sandwich and drank a glass of milk. Both listened to the news reports. At 6 o’clock in the evening, it was reported Truman had been defeat4ed. At 10 o’clock, Truman was still going down in flames. At midnight, the report came out that Truman was ahead by 1,200,000 votes, but he was still going to lose the election. At 4 in the morning, Truman was awakened by a Secret Service agent who told him he was ahead by two million votes, but the experts were still convinced of his defeat.

The events of that night tell us that Truman’s hopeless situation wasn’t nearly as hopeless as people and the candidates had been led to believe. Truman won. Dewey lost, along with the pollsters.

Hopeless situations. I recall the times when babies were born and everybody knew their situation was hopeless. Everybody that is, except the good Lord and the baby. Today some of those infants who “weren’t going to make it,” have children of their own.

Life has taught the optimists among us that there is no such thing as a hopeless situation…. There are only people who have given up hope.

That was certainly the story 2000 years ago, on the Sunday night after Jesus had been crucified.

“Two disciples were walking down the dusty road to the village of Emmaus. Their talk concerns the crucified Jesus. Their words come slowly. Their faces carried the sadness of grief and loss. Eyes down cast. Shoulders carried the weight of lost hope.

“I can hardly believe it. He’s gone.”

“What do we do now?”

Just then a stranger comes up behind them and says, “I’m sorry, but I could not help over hearing you. What things are you talking about?” (God Came near M. Lucado p. 87)

This event on the Emmaus road is a great story. It tells us about an encounter with the resurrected Jesus. An encounter with Jesus is an encounter with God. This event on the Emmaus Road is compelling. It equals the experience of Moses before the burning bush, when he learned God’s holy name.

Have you ever wished for a similar encounter with God?

Do you wish for a mountain top experience with God?

Have you ever wanted a burning bush like Moses? Have you ever wanted God to write an answer on the wall like he did for Joseph? Then you would know for sure.

1) How does God speak to us today?

2) How can I know when God is speaking to me?

3) Can God be just as real for me as he was for the disciples on the Emmaus Road?

The Emmaus road. A fascinating scene. Two sincere disciples recounting the events of the crucifixion. God in disguise listens patiently. His wounded hands buried deep in his robe. He had just gone to Hell and back, to give hope heaven to earth and these two were worried about the political situation in Israel. (God Came Near M. Lucado)

This encounter with the living God, on the Emmaus road lays the ground work for my first question. “How does God speak to us today?” “How can I know when God is speaking?” What does an encounter with God look like, feel like?

In the past, God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, and the bush did not burn up. (Exodus 3:1-6) In that spectacular encounter with God… Moses knew he was on Holy Ground.

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