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Viewpoint from Rev Rosie Bunn 13/04/2018

rosie bunnRev Rosie Bunn
Rector, St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Burch Castle
All Saints Church, Belton


as published in the Yarmouth Mercury


If you have been bereaved, you may well know that experience of finding yourself doing something familiar, not remembering having decided to do it or starting that activity.   When we have lost someone there is the need for familiarity of place and amongst people we know and love, and someone walking along with us always helps
Two of Jesus’ disciples who had been there is Jerusalem for the Passover and the crucifixion of Jesus, had headed off towards their home; probably they couldn’t bear to be in Jerusalem with all the sadness felt by the followers of Jesus.  May be they didn’t feel safe and thought putting some distance between themselves and the Jewish authorities was a good idea.  Whatever it was, the two were heading towards Emmaus when they were joined by someone they should have recognised but didn’t.  Perhaps it was their pain and sadness and the fact that they were so caught up in the events of the previous few days that caused them not to recognise Jesus as he walked with them, asked questions and explained the Jewish scriptures to them 
dove leftAs they reached their home village, it appeared that their fellow traveller was continuing his journey, but he then accepted their invitation to stay and eat with them.  It was as he broke the bread, they realised that this man was Jesus.  Jesus was sitting at table with them, in their home.  I wonder how their conversation went as they got up and journeyed back to Jerusalem to tell their fellow disciples that they had seen the risen Jesus
When they arrived at the place where the disciples had been behind locked doors, they found the eleven disciples and others with them all saying “it is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon”; and they explained how amazing their experience had been when they recognised Jesus when he broke the bread and realised just who had been teaching them as they walked along the road
On Easter Day in All Saints Church, Belton, we had a courtroom drama giving the case for the prosecution and the defence of a charge that “the friends of Jesus Christ are guilty of fraud in claiming that he had risen from the dead”.   The congregation were asked to be the jury, to consider the evidence that they heard and to decide for themselves, whether they believed that the resurrection took place.  If they decided that it did take place, they were asked to consider its significance in their own life
Dove rightWhen I reread the chapter of Luke that describes that event (Luke 24), it struck me that the lives of those two disciples were literally turned around.  Nothing could ever be the same for them again.  They had seen Jesus risen from the dead and their hope was restored
For us, we may not meet Jesus in the way that those disciples did, but he does walk along the road with us on the occasions that we are lost or bereft; when situations just don’t make sense to us and we need comfort or support.  In the post resurrection experiences of the disciples, Thomas’ questioning and his subsequent encounter with Jesus, gives us more evidence of the truth that Jesus rose from the dead; more reason to have our hope in Jesus reassured and our hope for the future reaffirmed; a belief that is so important in those times when loved ones die and we really can’t make sense of what is going on, and to have someone walking alongside us at that time
Once the disciples had realised that what Jesus had taught them was true; that he was alive, their lives took on a new purpose, and they were reenergised to continue the work that Jesus had begun.  Easter is good news!  It is good news that needs to be shared widely.  The Easter message is one of love, hope, joy and peace – and how our world needs it


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