word for the week : the blind see and believe
‘When Jesus sat at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him. They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem.. saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen”.’ Luke 24:30-34
Luke tells us that two disciples had walked the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus talking, shocked by the brutal finality of the crucifixion, bewildered by rumours of the missing body. If you have ever been in a traumatic situation – even a small road accident – then you know the need to talk, to go back over the details, to battle with a desire to reconstruct the past, to anguish over the ‘if only’s. And then a fellow traveller joined them, who didn’t seem to know what had happened, so they started telling the story all over again. But the reader is told that this stranger is Jesus, so his enquiring questions have an odd ring. Maybe he asked questions not for information he had already, but so that those questioned had to articulate their desires – and misunderstandings. “We had hoped that he was going to redeem Israel”, they told him.
This traveller knew his Bible very well and explained that it all fitted – that it’s all there – in Genesis, in the Law and the sacrifices, in Isaiah.
“How foolish you are and how slow of heart to believe”.
But he didn’t force them to believe; he didn’t reveal himself with thunderclaps and a magician’s abracadabra, when they come to their front door he acted as if he were going to walk on. Only some instinct of hospitality, perhaps, some desire to know more, spurred them into asking him
to stay. He took the bread and in that moment they recognised him and he disappeared.
And as for us? We too have the Scriptures he explained on that track to
Emmaus long ago. We have companions for the journey to support and encourage
our faltering belief. And we have the Holy Spirit promised by him, who opens
our eyes so that we see the truth. He is indeed risen from the dead.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18) he
took the bread, gave thanks. and their eyes were opened
connecting with culture – thanks to you
It’s hard to accept
when people do good
things for you
with no strings attached.
It’s easier, maybe,
when you believe
you’d be the first
to do the same –
or at least, you’d like
to think you would.
It’s not always possible
the extravagance of
a real sacrifice; but then, you
died so that I wouldn’t have to,
and the best way I can
possibly show how
grateful I am is to
choose to live
for you, with you
The most incredible
thing is that you’ve never
acted like you have a
Cross to bear.
This meditation was originally published in Way to Serve, a book of 40
reflections by Eddie Gibbs on the servant leaders of the Bible, with poetic
meditations by Brian Draper.
Click here for more information
transformation – the Greeks had a word for it!
Actually the Greek equivalent of ‘transformation’ is ‘metamorphosis’. For those with some school biology lurking, tadpoles turning into frogs, and pupae into butterflies spring to mind. A rather less radical form of transformation has joined crime, hospitals and soaps as the bread and butter of television – houses and gardens, as well as people, have makeovers – providing a different style, a different image with new possibilities. And next month we can change again! It can be simply fun, but sometimes looking ‘right’ on the outside can matter too much. We do need to ‘make the best of ourselves’, but the real transformation most of us long for is an inside one. Most of us are reasonably adept at seeing where others need a character makeover! But what are we like deep down, ourselves?
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, saying ‘And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another: for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit’. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Here is real metamorphosis – humans changed into the image of God, looking at his glory and by degrees becoming like him. Apart from one similar use of the word in Romans 12, the only other use in the New Testament is the ‘transfiguration/transformation’ of Jesus, when Peter, James and John fell to the ground terrified at the vision of Jesus as he really is, shining like the sun.
But, ‘being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another’ involves us – we have a big part to play in this transformation. This is a lifelong struggle, compared to the hard training of soldiers and athletes. Becoming a Christian is the beginning of a metamorphosis far more radical than popping out of a chrysalis. In the end we will be more magnificent than any butterfly, but it does take a lifetime. So, if we see the challenges of today as our transformation training ground, they may look less intimidating and more exciting.
Well I am glad Bob is back and it is great to meet him. He shows more enthusiasm than Alan and is more sincere.
We have struck up a good rapport and understanding and our main chance to chat is on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon before going out for some parish work – ie visitation, home communion service or hospital visitation. Bob is a real people person and I shall endeavour to emulate some of his methods – ah people watching, thats my own skill…
Went rather well, tho surprised it last 26 minutes. Seemed much shorter to me, tho they are used to 10 minute sermons, whereas 25-30 minutes is usual for me to listen to. Pedantism over the question section, coz those questions I get asked a lot.
Great comments overall with saliency.
Will alter this sermon for my Homiletics preach.