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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

2 April 2014: Susanne Irving, Life Church Petersfield

Encountering Jesus

One of my favourite resurrection stories is the story of two disciples who are going back to the village of Emmaus after Jesus’ crucifixion. They have heard rumours that Jesus has been resurrected, but instead of investigating the story further, they are leaving Jerusalem and are heading home. They are joined by Jesus, but "they were kept from recognizing him." (Gospel of Luke, chapter 24, verse 16). I imagine that their expectations contributed to their temporary blindness:

The disciples thought of Jesus as a great prophet, who would lead his people in a revolt against Rome. They were closed to the possibility of the resurrection because they did not understand who they had been following.

The disciples were focussed on getting back to what was comfortable and familiar instead of staying in Jerusalem, the volatile centre of religious and political power. If Jesus wanted to have maximum impact, he would surely show himself in the temple - they certainly would not have expected Jesus to walk beside them on the road to an obscure village, giving them a private theology lesson!

I wonder how often we miss encounters with God because of our expectations of where, when, how and to whom God may show Himself. The Emmaus story reminds us that God cares for us as individuals and may speak to us even when we are walking in the wrong direction or are simply trying to get on with our daily lives.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Post on 2 April; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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