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Who do we meet on the journey?

May 4, 2014

O Lord, may the words of my mouth be your words and may the meditations of our hearts always be acceptable in your sight. Amen.

Have you ever been going somewhere, but the urgency of your trip caused you to forget something? No matter how hard you try, you cannot remember what it was that you forgot. When you arrive and you begin to unpack… you still cannot remember what was so very important to bring with you. However, you still try to move forward and try not to worry about what is missing. You make the appointments that you have scheduled on your trip, but in the recesses of your mind something is just not right. Something is missing. We all have experienced that from time to time haven’t we?
The people we meet on this trip… There is something about them, but we cannot put our finger on it. There is that one person, however; that stands out in our mind. There is something about him or her that makes you think back about what you left behind. Now what was it that we forgot? We get so busy with our activities, but at the back of our minds it is still gnawing away at us. Lord, what have we forgot?
Still nothing…
In our story today in our Gospel lesson those on the road forgot something that Jesus had told them before he was executed… that he would be back. They were told by the “women” that Jesus was back. Why were they so down even though they received the “good news” from the women of their group? Oh, yeah that’s right, women had no status, so in turn their statement that Jesus was back from the grave was not good enough for them. they still did not believe. Do we experience that today? Are there people in our society that we do not accept their news of experiencing the risen Christ? Unfortunately the answer was and is, yes. However, is that our egos talking or is it that our hearts focused on the stereotypes that we have learned that remove the humanity of “THOSE” people?
But what did we forget to take on our journey? Now it is time to sit down to dinner with your new friend. Breaking bread together. Then you remember… Oh, it was Jesus… We meet the risen Jesus in people along our journeys, but do we recognize Jesus in them? If we do not bring the lenses to see Jesus in others while abroad in the world we will not see Jesus. For us to acquire these lenses, we need to have experienced the risen Jesus.
How might we experience Jesus in today’s world? It is through the sacraments and through the connection with each other in the journey and through God’s grace. Or as John Wesley would have said, by the “means of Grace.” The “means of Grace” are those things that hold us together in the body of Christ. Sometimes, it is intangible, but we know it when we see it.
The funny thing about grace is that it is freely offered to creation by God, but not everyone truly accepts that Grace by themselves… it takes a community holding each other accountable for our growth and actions. With all of these parts in action our faith becomes alive. And if our faith is a living faith… we will be transformed and transfigured into the likeness of Christ.
How would we know that individual in our midst has been transformed and transfigured in our community? We see their faith actively at work in both the world and in the congregation. Just actions. These actions are gracious and yet we are to hold each other accountable for our actions. That is so hard isn’t it? We have to put our egos aside and abide in and with Christ. Abide is such a rich word. Its meaning has so many levels. It can be where we live, or where we are staying, or even where we are going. In the text today, those on the road were staying in Jerusalem, and they were on the way to Emmaus, but in the breaking of the bread they were abiding with Christ. Let us all desire to abide with Christ. It was not just the Jesus they knew a few days before, but it was the Resurrected Jesus. It was the fully transfigured Jesus. Let us all show and guide one another to the point where we want to abide with Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit moving in our midst, so that we can be who and whose we are called to be. God’s beloved children. If we do this… we may see the resurrected Christ here where we abide.
Let us pray.
Gracious God, you give us our being, so that we can abide with Jesus. Give us the strength to live into that call you place before us. May we encourage one another along the journey to be your people and reach that point of grace that our egos do not get in the way of our abiding with you. We ask this in your most blessed name Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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