A short devotion for 26th April

Call to Worship

Come walk with Him. Come talk with Him.

Come feast with Him. Come worship our risen Lord.

Opening Prayer

Father, we thank you that you come out to meet us where we are.

We worship and adore you.

We thank you that you walk the road of life with us, that you treat us as equal even when we fail to recognise you.

We worship and adore you.

Thank you Lord, that you always care for us, always want to eat and drink with us – such love.

Prayer of confession

Risen Lord, we are sorry that we fail to recognise you in our midst, that we are too preoccupied with ourselves. We are sorry that let you down. Help us to be generous people, our Church, our homes and our hearts will always be places of welcome. Amen .

Bible Reading

  • Luke 24:13-35

Short Message: The Road to Emmaus

The Text

‘Jesus himself drew near and went with them.’ (Luke 24:15)

Introduction

We are introduced to two of Christ’s disciples who are walking on the road to a town called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem or 12km, when the Lord joined them. These dear men could not get their heads around the fact that this man whom they did not recognise as the Lord was ignorant of what had taken place in Jerusalem, “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people, but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:19 & 21)

To these two disciples their world had just fallen apart. All the hopes all their expectations had just evaporated and at Passover as well! You can well see the same picture back with the other disciples as they hid themselves for fear of being recognised as being Christ’s followers and they too would be next to be condemned. It was not their best weekend, Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus, Peter denied his Lord and their hope, their Rabbi, their Friend, the One with whom they had spent the last three years with, who had performed miracles, raised the dead, cast out demons, had been taken and crucified. How would we have felt?

What we have revealed to us here is the sad fact of human blindness to the divine nearness of the risen Christ to each one of us.

The fact of that meeting up with the two men on the Road to Emmaus shows us that we are not left alone, Christ met Mary outside the tomb, met the disciples in the room through locked door showing us that nothing can separate us from Him, our Lord and Saviour.

The Lord draws near to us in our home

But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. Luke 24:29 That evening these two men had as their guest Jesus, God’s Son, they invited him to stay with them, thinking that they were protecting him from walking on and being at the mercy of thieves during the night.

These men like us were ordinary every day folk and look at what happened, their lives were never the same again. That’s what happens when Christ enters our homes, our lives. In Christian homes you would often see a plaque on the wall with the words, “Christ is the head of this house. The unseen guest at every meal. The silent listener to every conversation.”

Have we opened the door of our homes and invited Jesus to come in and honour and bless our homes with His presence?

On occasion the late King George the 5th and Queen Mary took a walk along the seafront during a holiday. One time, the Queen unfortunately, sprained her ankle, and they were compelled to stop at a little cottage and ask for help. In answer to their knock at the door a voice called out, “Who’s there?” “King George and Queen Mary,” came the reply. “You don’t expect me to believe that, do you?” exclaimed the man behind the door. “See for yourself,” said the King. What a surprise there was for the occupant when he opened the door. Just think of it, when we invite Christ into our homes, we are inviting the King of kings and Lord of lords. The road ahead may seem bright but sooner or later there will be sickness and troubles and even death itself. So when such times come in our homes we have this great assurance that death has been defeated because of Christ’s resurrection.

The Lord draws near as we seek to serve a needy world

The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.” Matthew 24:40.

Christ draws near as we seek to reach out in the tea/coffee morning in the Church Hall, in the phone calls we make to encourage one another, in the hospital visits, the visit of a friend in their home in the shop as we smile at the check out person. When hear the cry of the need for help by those living in poor countries, in famine. Bringing pressure on governments when Christians are being persecuted for their faith and also helping to meet the need those who suffer as a result of war.

In conclusion

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32. If our desire is for Christ to draw near to us, then we should draw near to Him. Trust Him for forgiveness of all our sins, receive the gift of new life and develop a warm friendship with Him, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10. Paul discovered this new life when Jesus drew near on the Damascus Road read about it in Acts 9:1-19. Like these two men your life will never be the same again.

Let us pray: Prayers of Intercession

Living Lord, we bring to you the needs of the world in this time of crisis, grant wisdom to the governments that they will make wise decisions. We pray for our NHS personnel that they will know your protection as they seek to meet the needs of others. We give you thanks for the safe return of Ted and others of our Church Family who are recovering from any illness and all who are in isolation.

Help us always to welcome the stranger, whatever the cost. We pray for countries where food is in short supply and for those in our supermarkets and shops who seek to enable us to replenish our own need of food. We pray for all who are lonely at this time, some far away from family and friends, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Blessing

Risen Christ, Friend, Companion, Healer: as we walk the road in front of us please be by our side and the blessing of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit be always with us, now and forevermore. Amen