Luke 24:13-31 13Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16but they were kept from recognizing him. 17He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19“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. 20The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 25He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29But 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. 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
Would you know Jesus if you were to meet him on the street?
Would he be what you expected?
The folk singer Woody Guthrie, in his song “Jesus Christ” tells us of how Jesus was “laid in his grave” because he preached about giving all we have to the poor…then he goes on to say:
“If Jesus was to preach like He preached in Galilee, they would lay Jesus Christ in His grave”.
Of course if we could recognize him as Jesus, we’d treat him with more respect, but I wonder how Jesus would be treated if we could not see him, and he came to us as he came before: a poor child born into poverty, who grew to be a preacher or a community activist, calling upon the ‘haves’ to give to the ‘have nots’?
In these days, where everything seems to be a reason for an argument, he may not have been accepted. Some would say he wasn’t going far enough, others would say he was going too far!
Like the disciples, on the road to Emmaus, would we fail to recognize him as Jesus, and more importantly, would we accept his message of care for the poor, and the poor in spirit, his call to reach out to all people with compassion, not just those we like?
What would we tell our children?
All good questions, but instead of wondering if we would know Jesus if we saw him today, we should focus on see Christ who is present in our midst right here and now!
If we just look, we will see Christ in the faces of all those around us: the rich, the poor, the old, the young, and our children. If we open our minds and hearts enough, we can also see the Christ in the faces of those who follow different faiths, or who have no faith at all!
It is written that we have been made in God’s image, and when we follow the example of Christ, to share God’s love with the world, we are truly living in that image. When we help others, by sharing what we have learned, as single parents and as people, we are the face of Christ in the world!
Moreover, when we allow others to help us, we are also acting as Christ!
As single parents, we don’t often like to be told how to raise our kids, or to get any unsolicited advice from others; however, when we swallow our pride and accept this help, we are not only doing good for ourselves, but also being kind to those who are offering. It makes people feel good to help someone else!
This too, is how we can be Christ to the world.
And this is what we can teach our children, when they ask about where Jesus is, and how Christ touches our lives: that Christ is here with us, when we carry the message of God’s love for the world. Christ is with us in the homeless and poor, in the sick and in those who mourn, and with those who struggle with the devastation of addiction, in their lives.
Christ is with us when we seek to help those whose voices cry out in the wilderness of our world, proclaiming the good news of God’s love by carrying out the ministry of Jesus, who called on us to serve the poor and the poor in spirit.
Let Us Pray:
Dear God, please help us to see the face of Christ in all those around us, those we help and those who offer to help us. Let us be an example of your love in action to our children as we live our faith out loud, by showing compassion to all those in need…especially those we do not necessarily like. Let us remember that we are called to be Christ to the world, seeking reconciliation over resentment, and unity over division, as we are all well-loved children of God!