Two disciplines find Jesus on the road to Emmaus
The Rev. Kent Winters-Hazelton, senior pastor, First Presbyterian Church, 2415 Clinton Parkway:
Late in the afternoon on Easter, two of the disciples of Jesus were on the road to Emmaus, a small village about two hours from Jerusalem. They had heard the rumors circulating among the followers of Jesus that he had come to life again. On the road, caught somewhere between distress and bewilderment, between knowing and yet not knowing, they come upon a stranger and fell into a conversation with him about the sudden events of the past few days. Arriving at Emmaus, they invited the stranger to join them for the evening meal. The stranger took the bread on the table and broke it, and as he did so, the disciples recognized the risen Jesus with them. (Luke 24:13-35)
I think this is a story of great drama, mystery, humor and understanding. It appears as a parable for the predicament of modern women and men who find religious faith more a mystery than a certainty. These two disciples model for us the challenge and difficulty posed by the story of the resurrection. They knew Jesus, heard his teachings, saw his activities among the poor, the ill, the disenfranchised, and yet to them, the news of Easter was difficult to absorb and impossible to comprehend. Somewhat dazed, they moved on in life. It was when they saw something tangible, the sacramental action of breaking the bread, faith in practice, that it began to dawn on them that something very powerful, very holy, very central to the core of life was happening before them.
Embracing the image, sounds and touch of the Holy in the space of our ordinary may at times throw us off stride, challenge our perspective, or draw us into a new awareness of life. But we continue the journey, just like two disciples on the road to Emmaus.
— Send e-mail to Kent Winters-Hazelton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The lost son a parable of God’s forgiveness
Rod Hinkle, pastor, North Lawrence Christian Church, 647 Elm St.:
There are many great and true Bible stories about Jesus that space does not allow me to tell, but the short story that I love the most is one that Jesus told, found in Luke 15:11-32.
Jesus said a certain man had two sons whom he loved dearly. The younger son came to him one day asking for his share of the inheritance, one-third of his father’s property. So the father, out of love and respect for his son, gave him his share. The son took the money and went far away from home where he spent his inheritance in “riotous living.” Then a great famine occurred and the son was starving, so he hired himself out to feed pigs. For a Jewish boy that was truly disgraceful. In his great need he “came to himself.” Realizing that he had sinned against his father and against God, he decided to go home, throw himself on his father’s mercy and ask to be one of his father’s hired hands.
Although we know this story as “The Prodigal Son,” it is obviously the story of our Heavenly Father’s love, forgiveness and joy at the return of his children. Thus the Lord Jesus taught that there is great joy in heaven over one sinner who repents and comes home. Reconciliation with God is wonderful.
— Send e-mail to Rod Hinkle at Preachrod45@aol.com