Summary: Jesus is with us, do we know it?
“The Eyes Have It”
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org
In their song entitled Eleanor Rigby the Beatles address the loneliness that seems to pervade much of our world.
“Ah, look at all the lonely people…
All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?”
In our day the bonds of community have broken apart at an alarming degree.
Most persons no longer know their neighbors.
More persons than ever can not name one close friend—besides a spouse—with whom they share a close relationship.
People are lonely!!!
People no longer sit on front porches and interact with passer-by’s.
Instead, when and if we are outside, we sit on a deck in a fenced-in back-yard!
My wife Jeanne often says we were created for communal living, and I think she may be right.
After-all that is how the first Christians lived.
They had found a Power greater than their differences.
They were so close to one another that they sold their material possessions and made a common fund from which the basic needs of everyone were met.
This past week at Grace we had two work-nights in a row.
We planted flowers, laid down mulch.
Some of us worked inside cleaning out closets and Sunday school rooms, fixing cabinets in the kitchen, and changing out the hot-water heater under the sink in the Narthex.
Sounds like a lot of work.
It wasn’t really.
It was more about community or if we want to use the Greek word—koinonia—which means fellowship—a profound oneness and unity.
Any person who came out did not need to worry about being lonely.
And that’s the way it is within the Church.
Church is about community.
It’s a reiteration of God’s decree that humans were not created to be alone.
The more we become involved in the community of faith—whether it be joining the choir, coming to Sunday school, coming out to Wednesday night Bible Study, attending United Methodist Men’s or Women’s groups, coming to Youth group, staying for Lunch on the Grounds, participating in outreach activities—the less lonely we are…
…the more connected we become to the community…
…and the more we grow in our faith!
Life becomes more meaningful, and soon we find that, not only do we have more than one friend—we have a whole church full!!!
Another special thing we have here at Grace are Band Societies.
I know it’s a funny name, but it comes from the early Methodist Movement.
There are a number of folks who have been involved in a band society for several months, and I understand they have been exceedingly helpful in creating bonds of friendship, and coming very close to other Christians who love them and pray for them.
Band societies are small groups that meet weekly.
If you are not currently in a Band Society and you would like to be…
…please come and speak with me after the worship service this morning—we’ll get you plugged in!!!
There is no good excuse to be lonely within the community of faith.
In our Gospel Lesson for this morning we come in contact with two folks who had been disciples of Jesus Christ.
Obviously the circle of disciples was larger than just the Twelve.
These two people were sadly returning to their homes after the Sabbath and the tragic death of Jesus.
Their destination was the village of Emmaus, about seven miles northwest of Jerusalem.
As they walked along, talking about everything that had happened, “Jesus himself came up and walked along with them.
He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’
They stood still, with 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?”
The conversation continues as they walk together—with Christ—on the Road to Emmaus.
They felt so alone, so dejected, so sad.
They missed Jesus so much.
Their hopes had been dashed because Jesus of Nazareth has been crucified.
Maybe some of our hopes have been dashed as well.
Perhaps a marriage has ended in divorce.
Perhaps a serious dating relationship has come to an end.
Maybe our children have not yet embraced our faith in Jesus.
Perhaps we feel as if we don’t quite fit-in with the rest of society.
Maybe we feel we have no close friends in whom we can confide and share life together.
Perhaps we have lost hope of this ever happening.
Anyhow, these two disciples’ hopes had been dashed because Jesus had been crucified, and yet here He is walking and talking with them—and they don’t even know it!!!
They tell Jesus about the crucifixion.