May 21, 2014
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“But He said, ‘what is impossible with men is possible with God.”
Luke 18: 17
“Alas, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too hard or too wonderful for You!”
Jeremiah 32: 17
“We do not travel far before we meet the impossible. We soon reach the end of the short road of ‘the possible,’ and then the impossible looms before us!...The ‘impossibles’ store upon us on every side. How then? It is only in God and in the power of His holy grace that the impossible thing can be realized. In the Lord Jesus miracles may happen every day; they are happening every day. But in our pathetic folly we go on trying to mend the broken earthenware, when the mighty God would recreate the vessel…We use social cosmetics upon a withered society, and the holy Lord is waiting with the unspeakable quickening of the new birth. We use rouge when we really need the blood of the Lamb. The world is always arrested when it sees impossibilities accomplished. In God the impossible becomes possible!”
John Henry Jowett
Today’s Study Text:
“As they came near the village to which they were going, He (Jesus) 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 Scripture 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.”
Luke 24: 28-35
“He is Risen” Part 7
“Stay With Me!”
“Hospitality is about a relationship – one cannot be hospitable without guests. God not only plays the host for us and becomes the banquet for us: God also has become guest for us. This is one of the deep meanings of the incarnation, that God let go of hosting long enough to become a guest as well.”
In what ways have I invited God to be a guest in my life?
“Let all guests that come be received like Christ, for He will say, ‘I was a stranger and ye took me in’ (Matthew 25: 35, K.J.V.).
“What are the conversations we have on the way to nowhere in particular when the horizon stretches only as far as the petty pace of tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow permits? What should we do when we have reached our wit’s end, when what we once thought was worth our lives has left us washed up emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually?”
Cynthia A. Jarvis
Minister, Head of Staff
A cloud of disappoint had settled upon two of Jesus’ close friends. As they discussed how the events of the past few days had dashed their dreams to pieces, the Light of the world pierced their gloom. However, Jesus was not recognized. It’s no surprise for when the problems we face turn into monumental mountains which cannot be scaled, being able to see what is on the other side becomes an impossible task often times.
Thankfully, a guiding hand from above was at work, leading these two followers on a pathway illuminated by the truth of the Scripture. Dr. Luke tells us that as the walk on the Emmaus Road continued, the visitor seemed to be going ahead, but the men “constrained” or as the Greek defines the word, they “forced or compelled” their companion from leaving and instead He entered into their abode and when the meal was served He took the bread and “blessed it, and broke it, and gave to them” (Luke 24: 30, K.J.V.).
Believe me, that is one table you wouldn’t have had to invite me to more than once! Wouldn’t it have been phenomenal to sit down and then watch as the hands of Jesus took the bread and broke it apart and then asked for heaven’s blessing on what was laid on the table.
I have found that the comments penned by Molly T. Marshall regarding this sacred moment in time really captivates my imagination: “The narrative of Jesus’ encounter with Cleopas and fellow travelers also provides insight into the nature of faith. Faith does not require visible proof, although memory can prompt hope. Perhaps they remembered other meals, perhaps they knew the tradition of the Passover meal with His inner circle…The travelers, after imploring Jesus to stay with them…recognize Him in the breaking of the bread. The cherished formula: He took, blessed, broke and gave sits their awareness of His presence, they now know Him as the risen Lord, whose own body has been give for them.”
Just think back for a moment to the time in Matthew 14 when we studied about a crowd of nearly 15,000 people and the Biblical record tells us when a young boy offered up his lunch, that as the meager supply was placed in Jesus’ hands, “He took the five loaves and the two fish, and, looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and blessed and broke the loaves and handed the pieces to the disciples” (Matthew 14: 18, 19, Amplified Bible). I just have a feeling that as the two men sat at the table with Jesus, a rush of memories flooded their hearts and minds. And it was because of the time they had spent following Jesus, in close contact with Him, that now in one of the darkest times in their life, the Savior’s love permeated the darkness and a heavenly light opened their eyes to the reality of just ‘Who’ it was that sat in their midst. What a wonderful moment for it can illuminate your eyes and mine to the presence of Jesus in our most trying moments, too.
The fact is that by asking with mighty force that Jesus stay with them, they were blessed with the presence of their eternal Friend. I want to again share the observations by Molly T. Marshall as she explores the lessons we find in this passage of Scripture, “The promise of this text is that Jesus will meet His beloved ‘in the breaking of the bread.’ The hospitality of the traveling companions becomes the doorway to grace…hospitality expresses deep vulnerability, welcoming a stranger is always risky…It has been suggested that hospitality is the key to evangelism in our day, so this text offers a window to spiritual practice…Actions more than words, welcome more than self-protection, provides the space where others might fearlessly enter and find themselves at home.” When we share a common meal, we break down barriers and open our hearts to being part of a community in communion with our Father.
In the dreaded days following the death of Jesus, His dear followers must have wiped many a tear from their eyes, but as John Leith so perceptively explains, “Revelation is the clue that enables one to put together the disparate experiences of life into a meaningful, coherent whole, to see a pattern and purpose in human history. “ Maybe you feel like things are coming at you from every direction. I’m certain the men on the Emmaus Road most likely felt like, “What will happen next? What bad event will we face next?”
But then, in a tremendous time of revelation, when at their table partaking of a simple meal, Jesus pulled back the curtain, they immediately returned to Jerusalem to bear witness to seeing their risen Lord. As Pastor Cynthia Jarvis writes, “Christ opens the eyes of them who rejoice that they have reached their destination in Him.” And as she notes there may well be many of us, who are in Christian community as we study the Scriptures, and we too will find ourselves expressing the sentiment of the men of Emmaus, “Did not our hearts burn today as the Scriptures were opened to us.” If this is our desire, then may we always express to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ the words of His early followers, “Come stay with me!”
“Strange striding through the evening gloom,
Risen from out the darkness of the tomb.
Now for despairing friends finding some space and room.
Come now, come share our way.
Listener with us as we walk our way,
Come to shed light on all our dark dismay.
Stop here, wait now and rest,
Sit down and with us stay.
Come now, come share our bread.
In His hands the common bread He takes,
Then the loaf familiar lifts and breaks.
Darkened minds explode with newfound light;
Friend and Lord is near and dear to sight.
Stranger no more come to our table spread
Meet us as Lord and our all glorious Head
Confirm in us that death itself lies dead
through blood and life outpoured
now wondrously restored.”
Words: Leith Fisher
Prayers For The Emmaus Road
“All-seeing and unseen God,
You make Your presence known to us when
We least expect it.
Come to us, we pray, when our need is greatest;
And when we have forgotten need and least think of you.
Give us peace when we are troubled;
Disturb us when we are complacent.
When we are locked into darkness, release us.
When we are neglectful of the darkness,
open our eyes to see the ‘One’ who
overcame the powers of darkness for our sakes.
whose presence on our daily road
we fail to see in the grief that surrounds us,
warm our hearts with fresh confidence
in Your Word so that, in making room
for the stranger beside us,
we find Your hospitality awaiting us,
and the reassurance of Your presence
to inspire us to tread the road again
and share the Good News of Your
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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