Sunday, April 19, 2009

On the Road Again--a guided meditation on Luke 24.13-35 for Easter 2

Rev. Teri Peterson
On the Road Again
Luke 24.13-35
April 19 2009, Easter 2B (off lectionary)

(open the eyes of my heart, lord)

It looks like any other road,
this road we are walking today.
I invite you to close your eyes,
sit up straight with your feet on the floor,
be comfortable.
Breathe in deeply, and out slowly.
Do you see the road?

What kind of road is it?

What do you see?

What do you hear?

Are there other people on the road?

What is the weather like?

How fast do you want to walk today?

Leave the city, one foot in front of the other,
sandals tamping down dust,
even as grief washes from head to toe.
Nothing went the way we thought.
And today’s news is even more unbelievable than last week’s.

is it possible?
why can’t I see him?

One foot in front of the other,
walking home,
on just another road,
any road—it doesn’t matter now.
Nothing matters—no journey will ever be the same without him.
but where is he?

(open the eyes of my heart, lord)

Just another road,
like any other road.
Can you see it?
One foot in front of the other,
on the road again,
but alone this time.

A stranger comes alongside you.
Do you talk to strangers?

He walks near you for a ways,
in comfortable silence…
and then asks the question:
what are you thinking about?

What will you tell him?
What are you thinking about?
It’s been an amazing three years—
feeding people,
restoring community,
telling stories,
loving outcasts.
Which story to tell?

Think of your favorite story about Jesus.
Tell it to this stranger as you walk along this dusty road,
one foot in front of the other.

This stranger listens well,
he asks questions,
he nods in all the right places,
and he can tell that the story makes you both excited and sad.

As you finish telling your story,
you mention that it doesn’t make much sense.
Things seemed to be going so well until that last night,
that last dinner,
that Passover Party.
That’s when the real questions began.
Sure, other things didn’t always make sense…
but broken body, life poured out,
and now alive again?

The stranger looks at you as you walk down the road,
thinking out loud.
What are your questions?
Keep wondering out loud together as you walk,
one foot in front of the other,
through the dust,

(open the eyes of my heart, lord)

As you come to the end of your questions,
your voice trails off
and both of you stare down the road,
walking slowly together.
Then this stranger begins to tell a story of his own…
but it’s a story you know well,
except this time it begins to make a little bit of sense.
Just a little bit.
Grief and confusion are still there,
but now there’s something new…
something warm…
something blooming in the desert.
what story is he telling you?

As he finishes his story,
you look up and realize you’re almost home.
You’ve just met this strange man,
this storyteller,
this listener,
this fellow traveler,
but you invite him in for dinner.
There’s something about him…
And as you sit down at the table,
he offers thanks for a journey safely completed,
for new friends,
for hospitality,
for a simple meal of bread and cheese.

and as he takes some bread and offers you a piece,
you see.
He’s been with you all along,
transforming the journey,
making it part of the story,
part of God’s story,
part of our journey together.
On the road,
an ordinary road,
any road like any other,
yet unlike any other.

He’s alive!
is it possible?
You see him!
Hurry, on the road again…
What will you tell the others?

(open the eyes of my heart, lord)

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’ Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

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