The Emmaus Road

Camp - Blob Camp - Josh Perez is bringing me to camp. There's a blob and they say because of my size that kids are going to want me to be the blob launcher guy. There's a lot of different parts of my body that a feel a frail, so if I die on the blob, it was nice knowing you.

Faith Spindler's dad is very sick. She left to go see him, it's pretty likely the last time.

Follow-Up - Man on the bridge. Last week we prayed for the man who was on the bridge threatening to jump. I'm sure you heard but they got him down, and we're very grateful for that. My mom had the idea of us all signing a card or something just saying that we're continuing to pray for him. I loved that idea so did a little research and they're not going to release his name, so not an option but very nice idea!

As a pastor - not just the things that I want to talk about. Well rounded.

Title: The Emmaus Road

Luke 24:13-32

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, (Luke 24:13)

and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. (Luke 24:14)

While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. (Luke 24:15)

But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24:16)

And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. (Luke 24:17)

Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” (Luke 24:18)

And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, (Luke 24:19)

and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. (Luke 24:20)

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. (Luke 24:21)

Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, (Luke 24:22)

and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. (Luke 24:23)

Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” (Luke 24:24)

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! (Luke 24:25)

Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26)

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, (Luke 24:28)

but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. (Luke 24:29)

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. (Luke 24:30)

And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. (Luke 24:31)

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32)

Me - seeker

Never been the type of person who has the desire to lead people. But if there is something that maybe qualifies me to do this, it's that I've always been somebody who has had the ability to search things out.

I'm somebody who is walking around always asking questions.

Sometimes I feel like I'm searching for something and it's amazing how often my sense is that I'm searching for God or truth or understanding or something. And at the end I just feel like I don't have it.

There's just this feeling of God being absent.

The Story

Jesus has just died.

All the aspirations, hopes, and dreams of his followers were completely crushed. They were devastated.

Well 2 of them were walking along. - Cleopas and another (probably Mary his wife) but they didn't mention the girl, that's just how things worked back then.

Jesus "What's wrong?" … (story) Jesus "What's wrong?" - Clopas "Ugh… Are you the only person in town who doesn't know about all the stuff that happened?" Jesus "What stuff?" I love that. So they told Jesus about his own crucifixion and he said "You guys much not read your bibles much. It's clear that the messiah had to suffer." And then he goes through the scriptures and teaches them all the things that were spoken about himself.

And in all of this, they had no idea that it was Jesus

That echo's my life in so many ways.

That God is so good and so faithful but often times I don't recognize him as being there. Maybe because he doesn't look the way I'm expecting him to look.

Sometimes it cracks me up how blind I can be to the God who is it is very much at work in my life all the time. But often times when I look back in my history at events that seems so incredibly random. And at that point I'm finally able to realize how good and faithful God is been to me.

But I just really believe that no matter what it is that is going on in your life right now, God is at work in the background, even if you don't see him. And even if you don't feel him.

"Feelings" of the faith - Coming & Going

Mother Teresa writes about in the last 25 years of her life and ministry feeling like she can't sense the presence of God anymore.

I think it's amazing in the story that Jesus is teaching them from the Scriptures about himself and they still don't recognize. I think that gives a lot of clarity when it comes to the importance of preaching. I think preaching is incredibly important. But you can fill your life with all kinds of religious talk, and you still don't see Jesus moving.

Just because you don't feel God moving, doesn't mean God's not moving.

God is always working on our behalf.

Trusting that God is at work in ways that you don't totally understand.

Talking with Faith (Eden)

Her father has a real short time to live. And trying to make all these decisions about visits, and wedding stuff, and all this

There's just so many things that you don't control. I think it's funny how much we think we control in this world.

Adoption Illustration We've been a waiting family for close to 6 months now. And people are starting to get antsy. "Still haven't heard anything?!" "No, sorry." - Jordan and I are in a really great place with it, because we believe that God is working. He's moving in the background.

Talking to Jayne about Colleen Illustration She said that before she died, that Jayne felt this sense of like doing it wrong.

Find yourself at those types of places in life where you have no idea what to pray. And even that is scary, because you feel like if you're not exercising your faith in the right way that that somehow stops God's ability to move.

Scary - Mess it up

The danger: We can almost start to think of God as just a 'force' that we tap into if we know all the right things to do.

Star Wars - the force

That's why I become weary when I hear Christians talk too much about 'power'.

Without knowing it, we impersonalize God, make him a force and not a loving father.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26)

Jesus healed lots of people because of their faith :

Woman with the issue of blood

Blind Bartemaeus

Jabirus's daughter - dads faith

Jesus healed lots of people that had no faith

Lazarus

The demon possessed man Luke 8

Putting the ear back on the guard.

Of the 35 healing miracles recorded in the gospels, only 10 had something to do with the faith of the recipient.

If I - give - reasons "why" - feel alone - Would.

Find comfort in knowing that he will be there with me all the way through.

He's present with you.

He's present w/you

And: He wants to be present in you for others.

Even though I'm - IN - struggle

Like we talked about last week: I find comfort in this: even though I'm in a lot of ways IN the struggle, doesn't mean that God can't use you in amazing ways to help somebody else.

(As we close in communion)

I see people around the room - bright/dark places.

How God is at work in our lives, even when we don't have eyes to see it.

David Psalm 139:7 - Where can I go?

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:7)

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. (Psalm 139:8)

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, (Psalm 139:9)

even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:10)

"God I need you to be doing something here"

Sometimes I find myself in that kind of place: God I need you to be doing something here, even though I know I'm not doing the right thing.

Luke 15

Jesus tells 3 parables in Luke 15 - Parable of the Lost Coin, the Lost Sheep and the Lost Son.

Lost : Sheep / Coin / Son

God pursues us even when we're far away.

Even when we're not pursuing him. Even when we're running from him.

He's still: The Shepard who will leave the 99. He's the woman who will tear her house apart frantically looking for you. He's the father who day after day will look out onto the horizon eagerly waiting for you to return.

Incredible: Jesus, who we consistently betrayed and abandoned, is the savior who, by his spirit, has promised to never leave us.

Life tastes sweeter - when you remember you didn’t earn it.

As they pass the communion elements

Spend a minute remembering that God has been good to you.

So we come together and we make a point to remember how good he has been to us. And whatever it is that is in front of us now. Even when it feels like maybes far away, we come here and remember that he's always here with us even when it's hard to see him.