Summary: A sermon about the Emmaus Road.
"From Road Rage to Praise"
Mary had thought Jesus was a gardener, and now two other disciples think He is a stranger.
As these two people--one was named Cleopas and he may have been Jesus' uncle--set out on the Road to Emmaus they were joined by Jesus.
In his translation of the New Testament, William Barclay translates this text by saying that "they stood with faces twisted with grief."
So, the two disciples' faces were "twisted with grief"--as they walked the Road to Emmaus.
When you think about it, we all walk the Road to Emmaus with our faces "twisted with grief" sometimes.
Perhaps you feel that way today.
One day I got an email from a friend whose 23 year old daughter was celebrating her birthday that week in prison.
He wrote about the sadness he felt for "the loss of our dreams for our daughter. The pain of seeing her in prison.
The knowledge that she had made so many mistakes and that he and his wife could not stop them."
My friend was walking the Road to Emmaus.
Recently, I received a letter from a man who told me about his 18 months of unemployment and his feelings of discouragement and disappointment.
This was his Road to Emmaus.
What is your road to Emmaus?
Some have suggested that the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus were angry.
Their hopes had been dashed!!!
They hadn't even bothered going to Jesus' tomb themselves.
Instead, they got mad and left.
They left Jerusalem and the other disciples and headed back to their home in Emmaus.
They were angry at the chief priests, the leaders and perhaps...they were even a little angry at Jesus.
"We had hoped he was the one who would redeem Israel...," they told the Stranger after they had asked Him incredulously, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who is unaware of the things that have taken place over the last few days?"
They were grieving and they were angry!!!
But Jesus was with them all along the way.
He listened to their story.
Have you ever been angry with God?
It's alright to be angry and it's alright to be honest with God about how we feel.
God is more than big enough to handle it.
God loves us and wants to listen to us, console us, and let us know that we can confide in Him.
If you are ever angry with others or angry with God; talk to Jesus about it.
Let it out to God.
You will find peace; God is the Great Comforter.
So, these two disciples, their faces twisted with grief, disillusionment and perhaps anger were joined on the road by Jesus.
And it's important to note that Jesus came to them as a stranger.
They didn't know Jesus was with them, but Jesus was with them all the same.
And Jesus is with all of us at all times, whether we realize it or not.
And coming to realize it is a big step on our way to salvation, healing and peace.
Remember this when you are on your Emmaus Road.
Remember this at all times, no matter what you are facing.
Remember that Jesus is always with you--He will never leave you nor forsake you--He has promised us that!!!
Let that fact sink in and give you confidence.
Let that fact sink in and give you peace and joy in the midst of life's struggles.
Let that fact sink in and allow it to transform your road rage into praise!!!
One morning...and it was a morning that they had dreaded...it was a morning of great dispair...one morning George and Vicki Patakis woke up and they saw something on the front porch of their home.
They opened the door and found that 35 of their friends, neighbors and strangers had bought dozens upon dozens of red geraniums and had left them there for George and Vicki to find.
They had done this because it was the morning of the anniversary of their son's death.
There were notes of encouragement and a beautiful poem about God's care for their son and the promise that one day they would see him again.
Vicki said, "You have no idea what this meant to us.
We felt God's love and the hope of the Resurrection through our friends and neighbors and strangers we didn't even know who remembered our son's death and showered us with love."
Jesus Christ had come to George and Vicki on their Emmaus journey as a stranger...
...as a friend...
...as a neighbor.
Has Christ ever come to you through the actions of others?
Have you ever been Christ to someone else?
Remember in Matthew Chapter 25 that Jesus will say, "whatever you did for the least of these you did for me."