Summary: Homer: "Mmmmmm, strength in Christ... *drooooooooooooooooool*"
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?’ They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going further. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
“The season of ‘SPENT?’”
I’m a big fan of liturgical seasons. I love seeing the sanctuary turn from purple, to white, to green, and to red. I love the feeling that everything we do has a reason… that everything has a purpose and a meaning. We are currently in a 7 week season known as Easter… it is the period of celebration that follows the blessed resurrection of Christ. However, the more I have experienced this season, the more I begin to think our church fathers mislabeled the season. I know this season is supposed to be a celebration… but the reality of what happens has led me to think that a name change is in order.
Brothers and sisters, we have just gotten done with Lent, can I welcome you into the newly named season following Lent… aptly named “SPENT!” I think it is brilliant… it says exactly how we act after Easter. The pastors worked so hard on Holy Week that they need a week off… they’re SPENT. The committees that worked so hard to make Easter so special are encouraging the Pastor not to do anything too big this next month so they can catch their breath… they’re SPENT. Our attendance on Easter morning was double what it normally is… sadly… the effort that many of those people made to bring themselves to walk through a church door has tired them out so much… we will not see them again till Christmas… they are obviously SPENT.
“The disciples are SPENT.”
It is even right here in our scripture text this morning. We get this insiders view of two disciples right after Easter. They’ve been through a lot. Three years of following Jesus. Three years of walking… of sleeping under trees… of sitting in the midst of crushing crowds all trying to see the Lord… waiting for Jesus to save them from Rome. Now, it has all gone up in smoke… everything they worked for… everything they sacrificed for… gone… because some Jewish rulers could not stand Jesus’ popularity and handed him over to be crucified.