Christ With Us

Apr 01, 2003 02:53 PM EST

Luke 24:13-35 (NRSV)

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him." Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."

-- Matthew 18:20 (NRSV)

MARTHA, my church friend, and I have lunch together every Tuesday. We talk about our sons, grandchildren, local politics, aches and pains, sorrows, triumphs. We discuss the Sunday sermon, our reading of scripture, a new book that touched or troubled us. We laugh a lot. Sometimes we cry. We make an effort to listen intently.

Our Tuesday lunches are a holy time. As the meal is shared, we offer our thoughts, hopes, and fears to each other and to God. Our meetings are a manifestation of Christ in the world. Being part of the Body of Christ is not a private walk with Jesus; it is two or three people gathered together with Christ in their midst. When we show compassion or listen with love, we are expressing Christ. We are being the church in the world. Even though we aren't perfect and we don't have all the right answers, we experience Christ's presence in these times together.

Prayer: Dear God, help us be open and loving to one another as you are in Christ Jesus. Guide us into friendships that will help us to grow in our faith. Amen.


Who needs me to listen?


Those seeking Christian friends

By Glenda Wadsworth, Mississippi