Sermons

Summary: When you encounter Jesus, in his power and love, he sets things right.

Restoring Hope to Broken Dreams

Part 1 of a 4 Part Series

Jim Pritchett

Swift Creek Community Church

Today is the beginning of a new service series “Broken.” We go around with smiles on our faces, trying to act like everything is OK. But in reality, most of us have broken dreams, broken hearts, and broken lives.

Today we’re talking about “Restoring Hope to Broken Dreams.” Experiencing broken dreams is not a rare experience–it’s all too commonplace. A few years ago, Jimmy Ruffin and the Temptations recorded a song that asked a question: “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?” He sang, “As I walk this land with broken dreams / I have visions of many things/ Love’s happiness is just an illusion / Filled with sadness and confusion/ What becomes of the broken hearted / Who had love that’s now departed? / I know I’ve got to find some kind of peace of mind/ maybe...”

There’s a scene in a recent movie about a broken dream. Friday Night Lights was set in west Texas, in the late 1980’s. Let me tell you, they are absolutely crazy about football in Texas.

This movie is supposed to be based on a true story. Boobie Miles was the star running back of his high school football team. All the colleges were trying to recruit him, and people were saying things like “Heisman potential” about him. After months of dreaming, and bragging, and talking trash, his football career ended with a knee injury, and was time to hang it up and to clean out his locker. There’s a really touching sad scene as this young man collapses into the arms of his uncle, with his great dreams of a championship football career all gone.

Sooner or later, you are going to have an experience like that. Sooner or later, you will experience some broken dreams along the path of life. Some of you may be struggling with feelings like this right now.

Luke Chapter 24 takes place after the Resurrection. Jesus had tried, over and over, to explain to his followers what was going to happen, but it’s like they just didn’t get it. I guess it was just too impossible. Too preposterous. Too wonderful.

Luke 24:13-17 (NLT)

That same day two of Jesus' followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles out of Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. Suddenly, Jesus himself came along and joined them and began walking beside them. But they didn't know who he was, because God kept them from recognizing him.

"You seem to be in a deep discussion about something," he said. "What are you so concerned about?"

They stopped short, sadness written across their faces.

There are a couple of key phrases here: “so concerned” and “sadness written across their faces.” Imagine these two, trudging along the road, with heads down, shoulders stooped, sadly putting one foot in front of the other on this slow, seven mile hike.

They replied to Jesus, (my paraphrase), “What rock have you been under? Haven’t you heard all of the news in Jerusalem? Haven’t you heard about Jesus of Nazareth? He was a great prophet, a teacher extraordinaire, and he performed miracles, and healings. But the chief priests rejected him, handed him over to the Romans to be crucified. We had hoped he would be the real Messiah, the one who would overthrow Rome, and redeem Israel. But now three days have passed, and some women have even reported that his body is missing! I guess we were wrong about him.”

Luke 24:25 (NLT)

Then Jesus said to them, "You are such foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures.

They were on a seven mile hike; they had time; so it says Jesus began with Moses and all the Prophets, and he explained everything that had been set forth in the Scriptures concerning himself. (Wouldn’t you like to have a recording of that?)

You would have thought the “light bulbs” would come on at this point, wouldn’t you? But these guys were just like we too often are. They didn’t quite yet get it. You see -

• Most of us have “head knowledge” about Jesus.

You can go to church every Sunday. You can read the Bible from cover to cover. You can listen to great preachers & teachers on your radio every day. But if it’s all just “head knowledge” it won’t help you much. You’ll be like these guys, still lonely and sad.

We need to have our eyes opened to spiritual things. All of you need to take the “Experiencing God” course. One of the main teachings you will learn is “God is at work all around us. Instead of trying to get God to bless what you are doing, you need to join God in what He is doing.” Point two:

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