The walk to Emmaus is very much like our own walk in that we begin our Christian journey not knowing Jesus,he is a stranger,but as we spend more time with Him through reading the scripures,praying and in community with others then He becomes a companion.We eventually invite Him fully into our lives,meet Him face to face in the breaking of the bread and in other people. Maybe our biggest challenge is then telling others we know the Risen Lord!
John Polkinghorne, one of Britain's leading theoretical physicists, contends that Christianity, like the natural sciences, is concerned with making sense of the world on the basis of the available evidence.’ Faith is to be understood as” motivated belief, based on evidence.” ‘He continues, “The centre of my faith lies in my encounter with the figure of Jesus Christ, as I meet him in the Gospels, in the witness of the church and in the sacraments. Here is the heart of my Christian faith and hope.
May you be firm in your faith, continue meeting Jesus in the breaking of the bread, and in the other sacraments, in the scriptures and share your faith with others that Christ is indeed risen.
Sermon in a Nutshell
God always brings about the unexpected. He tells Nicodemus the Spirit is like the wind. We know not where it comes from or where it is going. The Spirit dimension of God is by its very nature at least unpredictable. For Lazarus God plans, and the Spirit moves where it wills and Lazarus comes out of the tomb, the man born blind is able to see; totally unpredictable. When we come to think about the work of our parish we should be open to many possibilities and never discouraged. What possibilities is God calling us to?
Sermon in a Nut Shell
An American evangelical pastor by the name of Francis Schaeffer uses this story of the 2 snowflakes. At Le Brie he’d take his disciples to the peaks of the Alps and show them 2 rivers: The Rhone and the Rhine. To the left is the Rhone, the dirtiest river in the world, to the right is the Rhine, the cleanest river that goes by the beautiful French countryside and ends up in the balmy Mediterranean. Up until now, up until Mark 1, verse 15 we could only go left.(That is the dirtiest river in the world) But now we can choose to go right.(The cleanest river in the world.) Kairos moments
are like these snowflakes. There are many of them and we choose what we do with them. Do we ignore them (and thus the snowflake going left) or do we engage with them to discover what God is trying to say (and thus the snowflake going right)? We choose every day!
Now we can choose what to do with these moments. You have the opportunity to live in and engage with an entirely different reality or shrug it off!
So we are to repent and believe. Jesus says to transform the inside and then the outside falls in line because we are now fundamentally different on the inside.
So to live in God's future, is to step more fully into a kairos moment, we are asking God to fundamentally change the inside of us so that it produces an action. That is why these two questions are so central: What is God saying to me? (This will help change the inner parts of me.) And what am I going to do about it? (The inner change has to produce an action.)
When Jesus gave the Beatitudes to the disciples he should have told them to stand on their heads for his sayings in fact turn everything up side down.Those who are fighting for breath at the bottom of the human heap find themselves clost to heaven,while those who think they are on top of things and have made it find themselves on their backs looking up.
"Blessed are those who stand on their head,they shall see the world as God sees it"
So Jesus is ready to begin his ministry,John has been arrested and so Jesus starts to call the apostles to join Him.These were ordinary men called to be involved in an extraordinary ministry.
We have been called through our baptism to also be involved in ministry.Are we able to respond and have the compassionate and loving eyes of Jesus whenever we meet people?
In the church calendar this Sunday is called the Second Sunday After the Epiphany.The Epiphany, when we celebrate the Manifestation of Jesus to the gentiles.(Jesus is for every one.)We also have in the Gospels little epiphanies happening,other manifestations of the person of Jesus like when John the Baptist sees the Spirit coming upon Jesus and then John's statement to his disciples that Jesus is the Lamb of God and then Andrew telling Simon they have found the Messiah.In the twenty first Century many call such epiphanies as Ah ah moments.What Ah ah moments have you experienced with God and how did you respond?
We celebrate the baptism of Jesus which marks the beginning of his short ministry of just three years. Our baptism also marks the beginning of our Christian journey.Since many are baptised as infants it is really only when we claim Christ as our own when we are older that the significance of our baptism impacts.Do you remember your baptism or do you remember when you committed your self to following Him.?
“And the Word became flesh and lived among us…." Several years ago, an atomic scientist was arguing for the value of exchange scholarships between nations. He was not thinking of Christmas, but he gave us a beautiful picture of Christmas when he said,’ The best way to send an idea is to wrap it up in a person.’ Now that is what God did in the incarnation. He took the idea of his love and he wrapped it up in the person of Jesus Christ. May we remember on this Eve of the Epiphany that this love is for everyone.
Any lovely feelings you had about the birth of Jesus are stripped away when we read Matthews Gospel, for it brings us back to a world where life is risky and dangerous even for the Christ child.
Today reflect on the joy of Christmas anchored in the reality of the world. We too are called to apply our faith in the real world for we have a saviour who came to be one of us. The writer to the Hebrews says, "Because He himself was tested by what He suffered, He is able to help those who are being tested.