Their journey is our journey. We too have to recognise Jesus at work in our lives. We have new challenges ahead as we try and make Jesus known to others and encounter him along the way. We are Easter people and the promise of the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us is one that Jesus made unconditionally to his disciples.
The story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus is one of the most reassuring ones in the Bible. Jesus walks alongside the two, unrecognised but helping them to unburden themselves of their grief and bewilderment at the events of the last few days. Jesus helps them to try and understand what had happened and then accepts their invitation to stay with them as the day is almost over.
It is at the evening meal when Jesus breaks the bread that they recognise him as their master and realise the significance of his presence. We are invited to share a meal with Jesus each Sunday as we gather to celebrate the Eucharist. We recognise Jesus as present at the breaking of the bread.
There is so much to celebrate - new life in Christ, healing and forgiveness and a shared love for each other. There is so much hurt and pain in our world and bringing God's love and compassion to others is what Jesus does and calls us to do.
The symbols of new life and growth are enjoyed by all, especially the young. Easter egg hunts, spring lambs, Easter rabbits and spring flowers all help us to celebrate once we understand their significance. We are challenged now to overcome our reservations and doubts as to what happened on that first Easter Day and believe in the living Jesus.
Alleluia Christ is risen: he is risen indeed.
EASTER REFLECTION by Rev Dilys
The Easter festival has now been celebrated and we continue through the Easter Season until Pentecost, which includes the Ascension.
There is a tendency once the Easter festival is completed on Easter Day to revert back to 'normal’ as it were, forgetting that the Easter joy of the Resurrection and the new life in Jesus Christ is to be celebrated throughout the whole Easter season concluding with the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Sunday by Sunday, Christians celebrate the Resurrection and the joy of that first Easter Day reminds us of how Jesus overcame suffering and death to bring salvation to the world.
Easter, perhaps even more so than Christmas, is an exhausting time because it demands our emotional involvement with suffering and death before we can move to celebration and joy. The build-up of tension from Palm Sunday through Holy Week is acute and it's natural to feel a sense of relief when we finally get through Good Friday.
Holy Saturday is that pause when we wait patiently for Easter Day to dawn and we can fully experience the emotional release that the day of Resurrection brings.
In the weeks ahead, there is the opportunity to read the stories of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus and how the disciples went through their own emotional rollercoaster of sorrow, grief and, for Peter, shame and then recognition, amazement and joy.
Once again they would have to learn from Jesus that nothing would be the same again. There would be no going back to ‘normal'. They would face new challenges and be left again on their own after the Ascension, but with the promise that Jesus would be with them in a different way.