Thought for the Day – Third Sunday of Easter
Please read Luke 24 verses 13 – 35.
Soon after Sandra and I arrived in Cardiff we went on holiday to Canada. It was an amazing holiday and it started with our arrival in Calgary and a coach trip down to Banff our first destination. The thing that struck is more than anything else was the scale of the scenery it was awesome.
Amazing because here in Cardiff we found the mountains and scenery which are so beautiful, and we fell in love with Wales immediately. But Canada was on a much bigger scale a much bigger map.
And that’s where I’d like to start – to encourage us to see ourselves on a bigger map. Most of us are so caught up in what we do in the life of the church that we occupy that space and so often we fail to see what is happening around us outside of our church walls.
The reality is that so often we plough our furrow in isolation. Or if we do talk to others we tend to stay with the people who attend the same groups as we do. We tend not to talk to others. Perhaps at this time we might think or cast our net wider by speaking to people we know slightly.
Soon Sandra, Thomas and I will leave for Fleet to another phase of our ministry. Thinking of moving on I have been recalling my arrival in Cardiff.
My first year started as the blank piece of paper but by six months someone else had articulated the theology behinds what I had started to do. Nick it’s the road to Emmaus. It was helpful to have someone else explain that they saw my role as coming alongside people on their journey.
I want to suggest that all of us might benefit from reflecting on the Emmaus journey and inviting God to use us in a similar way.
The story is simple two disciples leaving Jerusalem walking home despondently – it’s all gone horribly wrong and they have no one to talk to and they are in despair all they had planned and hoped for lay in ruins.
Does that sound familiar? We get focussed on the detail running it over and over in our minds and we fail to see how it fits into a bigger picture. The death of Jesus has brought the disciples to despair they think it’s over.
They have forgotten what Jesus said about death and resurrection they have lost the bigger picture and in doing so they start to disengage from God. So often that is the case with us we get caught up in the detail and we lose the bigger picture of what God is about of what God is doing.
The current impact of Covid -19 is to close down our world it’s a different place and there is a risk we lose the bigger picture of God because we are no longer meeting together there is a great fear in me that some may not come back to church when this is over. Its so easy to forget to lose the routine the pattern the discipline of journeying with God.
Indeed, those on the road had taken Jesus death and minimised it forgetting what it was about losing its meaning –so often we do the same.
And someone comes to them – we of course know its Jesus but, in some ways, I am not convinced who it was is as important as what he does.
Jesus invites them to tell their story – of course he knows the true story, but he is happy to listen as they tell it from their perspective. One thing has made me proud in recent weeks the way people in the church are talking to one another. We are good at keeping in touch by phone checking that everyone is well and that practical needs are met. Jesus goes one step further he asks those he is with to talk about the events that have happened and to talk about God. I am sure we all talk on the phone about the impact of Covid-19, but do we talk about God and how we know God’s presence at this time. Do we share a moment from the service that we watched or listened to on Sunday that meant something to us in the hope it might encourage another church member when we are on the phone?
There is a danger our voices become silenced about God, yet God is doing so much. Jesus encourages fearful disciples on the road to re find their voice to talk of Jesus and what they have seen. Let us be bold and let’s tell others what we have seen and encourage each other not just practically but spiritually as we share our love of God.
Let’s keep in touch with one another and with God. Speak soon.
Revd Nick Oborski