A companion on the long road
The news that ‘lockdown’ is to be extended for at least another three weeks is understandable and of little surprise. Yet the road through this may appear to be lengthy and difficult at times. We pray particularly for those lonely, bereaved and the key, frontline workers putting themselves at risk for us. There are many ways in which we experience companionship through this period, even if we cannot be together and hope that these reflections add to our sense of being in community with others who are travelling the same road!
Ian Thompson, from St. Benedict’s Church, in Gyffin, shares his thoughts with us on the story of how the risen Jesus appeared to two travellers, just as they were feeling the desolation of what had happened in their community …
The Road to Emmaus by John Donne (2006)
That memory is evoked when I think about the two grieving (socially isolating?) disciples who walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus, after Jesus had died on the Cross. They didn’t recognise the risen Jesus when he joined them on the road. Maybe their eyes were averted and full of tears – certainly their hearts were heavy with bitter disappointment.
“Haven’t you heard of the terrible things that have happened in Jerusalem?” they demanded of this apparently uninformed stranger. They then related to Him their desolate story of how Jesus’ death on the cross had dashed their hopes that Jesus would be a victorious liberator of their country. But Jesus knew differently, and “opened the scriptures to them” in what must have been the most intensive Bible study ever.
On arrival at Emmaus, Jesus made as if to press on alone, but they invited Him into their home for a meal – good Eastern hospitality, that! As their guest broke bread and offered it to them, they recognised Jesus by this characteristic action, He vanished from their sight, but left them with an intense sense of His continued, living, presence. Excitedly, the pair hurried back to re-join the other disciples confined to their Upper Room – disciples who would soon be visited there themselves by the risen Lord Jesus.
All over the world, people are having to adjust to a ‘new normal’ of social distance and isolated living. For many it is proving to be a frustrating, anxious, disturbing or lonely experience. But might there also be the sense of an unseen companion, a compassionate presence willing to listen to our lament and transform it with His love? Let us pray that Jesus Christ will make Himself known, risen and alive, wherever people are.
who in your great mercy
gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord:
give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
a wnaethost yn dy drugaredd mawr
y disgyblion yn llawen o weld yr Arglwydd atgyfodedig:
dyro inni’r fath adnabyddiaeth o’i bresenoldeb,
fel y cawn ein hatgyfnerthu a’n cynnal gan ei fywyd atgyfodedig,
a’th wasanaethu’n barhaus mewn cyfiawnder a gwirionedd;
trwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd,
sy’n fyw ac yn teyrnasu gyda thi a’r Ysbryd Glân,
yn un Duw, yn awr ac am byth. Amen.
Click here for previous daily reflections from our Ministry Team.