Easter Windows 2020
Each of these nine reflections offers you a snapshot of the story, prompts for action and links to other resources. And yes, each one is named after a hymn. Let’s sing together.
One of the most cherished stories we have of Easter season is a tale of two friends, travelling from Jerusalem to their home village. This is a wretched return to Emmaus for them, walking the lonely seven miles, reflecting sadly about all that had happened in the last few days. They had pinned their hopes on something that was now shattered and broken. At least they had each other. As these two friends talked together, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them. Although they were kept from recognising him, it’s as if their conversation has summoned him, compelled him to draw near. That’s actually hardly surprising, for Jesus himself had said that where two or three got together in his name, he would be there in the middle of it. These two friends on the Emmaus Road give us a picture of our lives as pilgrims, telling us that “we are people who spend our lives going someplace, going to God, and whose path for getting there is the way, Jesus Christ” (Eugene Peterson). The Emmaus Road challenges us though to see that this pilgrimage is something we undertake in community, in relationship with others. The two walk together and make room for a third. At the story’s climax, they then rush back to Jerusalem to tell the wider group of friends what they have discovered about the risen Jesus in the midst of their friendship. And in the upper room in Jerusalem, as they all talked together, they found the story was deeper and more glorious than they had dared imagine. And while they were together, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Things shattered were restored and that which was broken was made whole.
Poet Wendell Berry challenges us to practise resurrection. Our friendships are a good place to start. We need to practise resurrection in our relationships. Relationships, whether deepened, widened, renewed, initiated or repaired, all carry the same explosive potential – that they will tell the story of resurrection to a world hungry for the hope that things shattered can be restored and that which is broken can yet be made whole. I am excited that once this season of social distancing has come to an end, that once we are again amongst one another, that we shall relish being a people confident of God’s abundance and committed to releasing this good news with ever greater vibrancy in the community. What adventures we shall share as we learn to practise resurrection together!