Luke 24:18-19 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,
We like to communicate, and are frustrated when we can’t. A good example of how important this is, is the time before and after church, when we catch up on the latest news. After all, everyone has a story to tell. This week during confirmation we talked about effective communications, as it is time to write their essays. It was agreed that each person pays careful attention to the things they are most interested in. Therefore, I am supposed to tell you the story of a fighter pilot, and a hunter and a high-jumper, as these were things they seemed interested in.
I also learned that Pastors, and teachers and parents often lecture, that that this is not effective – So, I shouldn’t say, we should walk with Jesus, and follow where he leads us – because most everyone know that they should walk with Jesus and follow where he leads – and it is not much help to lecture, why we should walk with Jesus – because most everyone knows about eternal life, the grace of God, and the forgiveness of sins. What is wanted is a good story, and a good story that helps us so that we DO walk with Jesus, without lecturing to us or making us feel bad. The problem is, that you always have to cover the basics, because there may be someone who doesn’t know, and there is probably someone who has forgotten. But perhaps there is a way to do it, so that those who already know, don’t get bored.
But how do you tell one story that covers many interests and topics? If I could tell a good story about the fighter pilot, would the person who wanted to hear about hunting get bored? And if I could keep both a fighter pilot fan and a hunter happy with a story, what would it say to the one who wanted to learn how to high jump even higher? So, here is the story – there was a fighter pilot, a hunter and a high jumper walking one day on the road to Emmaus – they didn’t have much in common, each wanted to be somewhere else – and as they walked a stranger came up and began to walk with them – and simply said – What’s news? And in that moment the three came together, found a common purpose, and began to tell the stranger about current events. And by itself that was a miracle, because while we can often seen how we are different, it is very hard sometimes to see what we have in common.
They continued to walk, each telling their story, and all growing closer –and something else was happening – for as they told their story, each one came to a new understanding of the story they told – not because they were lectured to, or told the real facts – but because someone cared enough to really listen. There are many people who do not know how to listen – there are some people who politely listen – but it is rare to find someone who really listen – but when you find one, you can tell that they really care about the same things that you do, and it makes you feel good.
That what happened on the road to Emmaus – Jesus walked with the disciples, and as he walked with them, and listened to their story, he did it in such a way that they came to a greater understanding of their own story. The text says he opened their minds to the scripture, so they could really understand the story they told – he walked with them as a stranger, and while he opened their minds to the scripture -–it was not until it came to the breaking of the bread, that their eyes were opened – it was then they saw that the stranger was the Risen Christ.
So, what was it that enabled them to walk with Jesus and follow the Savior? Was it knowledge? Was it the forgiveness that comes in the body of Christ given for us? Or was it the love of God, that came to them, and walked with them – and the grace of God that changed them and enabled them to do what they knew they should have done. Our challenge then is as we have experienced God walking with us, to so walk with others, so that they might have not only the knowledge, but to receive the love of God in Christ, which makes us a new creation.