On the Emmaus Road
Sunday, 26th April
This is a painting by the German priest and artist, Sieger Köeder. His artwork featured in the Holy Week reflections in the URC Daily Devotions.
The painting depicts the journey on the Emmaus Road recounted in Luke’s gospel in chapter 24, verse 13 onwards
Revd Simon Copley offers this reflection on Luke's post resurrection story:
As the two disciples journey together they share the things they have experienced and, as they talk, Jesus himself draws alongside to listen and then to speak. The disciples are able to talk openly about their deepest feelings: broken dreams, bitter failures and disappointed hopes. They believed Jesus was going to redeem Israel and yet he had been crucified. They expected great things of him and, to be honest, they felt he had let them down.
They are also able to talk of their inability to share in the certainties of others. A group of women from their company had gone to the tomb and claimed to have seen a vision of angels, saying Jesus was alive. So, some of their friends had also gone to the tomb but they hadn't seen a vision. You can almost hear the bitterness in their voices: “Him they did not see!”
How often are we made to feel inadequate by Christians who seem to have great experiences and great certainty - Adrian Plass talks disparagingly of Christians who have “37 visions before breakfast” - These women had certainly had a vision before breakfast…but the disciples didn’t share in it…but the risen Jesus was still alongside them too, ready to listen.
This is a picture of what fellowship within the Church should be like and a picture of prayer. We all need somebody in the church family that we can be really open with and pray with. This is how the demon of loneliness is cast out because we know there is space for us to put aside the masks we wear and be our true selves.
Here is a hymn which offers us the kind of relationships which are the building blocks by which the Church becomes a place of safety and welcome.
Brother, sister, let me serve you, Let me be as Christ to you; Pray that I may have the grace to Let you be my servant, too.
We are pilgrims on a journey, And companions on the road; We are here to help each other Walk the mile and bear the load.
I will hold the Christ-light for you In the night-time of your fear; I will hold my hand out to you, Speak the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping, When you laugh, I'll laugh with you; I will share your joy and sorrow Till we've seen this journey through.
Richard A. M. Gillard , 1977
Simon is one of our URC ministers in Team Sheffield. You can find a fuller reflection on the passage in this morning's service at