Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

This week's Gospel, for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, was "The Road to Emmaus" and the big thing I was thinking today in the middle of Wallace's sermon was, “Hmmmm....we all have our own ‘Road to Emmaus.’ Multiple times.”

How many times are we so far “in the middle of something” that is difficult, that we can’t see the forest for the trees? Cleopas and his buddy are still so stuck in the middle of the crucifixion they can’t see the Resurrection when it’s right in front of their noses.

How many times is Christ right in front of us but we don’t recognize it? It doesn’t necessarily have to be from pain or loss, either—you can just be so hyper-fixated on something you have blinders on about everything else. I was thinking about that in terms of my little Eddie dog. One time, Eddie had dug a bone out of the garbage that was not a “safe” bone for dogs—it was a pork chop bone with a point, and was one that normally I don’t give to the dogs b/c they can choke on it or get it halfway down and puncture their esophagus with it.

Well, for a 22 lb. dog, he’s pretty vicious if you try to take his food. He’ll snarl and snap and would bite you in a heartbeat if you made a grab for it. So I was trying to lure him with a piece of real meat to get him to drop the bone so I could snatch it away. At first he was not about to drop that bone, and I was getting pretty aggravated with him. I could not believe he would not drop a bone from the garbage in exchange for a little piece of real meat. But he just growled and growled and would not let go, and I didn’t dare reach for the bone unless he was going to go for the meat instead. But it took forever for him to finally decide the meat looked better. (Took a bigger piece of meat, too...)

Well, and how many times do we continue to cling to our own bare little pork chop bones with half rotten meat on them, and a dangerous point on the bone that could poke a hole in our gullet, when God is dangling a hunk of steak in front of us? How many times do we refuse an opportunity from God for real nourishment, because we can’t bear to drop a bone we picked out of the trash?

To drop the bone takes an awareness that there is something out there that is better for you than the thing to which you cling. (I might add, dropping the rotten bone is really really hard sometimes, even when you become aware that there is something better, because you KNOW what you have in your mouth and you feel familiar with it, even if it isn’t particularly good for you.)

Now, think about what happened in the story. When they got the bread from Christ, they could see what’s what. I’m not even sure if they even had to EAT the bread to see—the story only says he gave it to them—but as soon as they can see, he vanishes, and they are just left holding the bread. That part of the story is pretty significant to me. The implication is that they knew what to do with the bread, so there was no need for Jesus to hang around at that point. God’s not into hand feeding us—he’ll provide, but he expects us to feed ourselves and each other.

I thought about my thought earlier in the week about bread—all that work and care that goes into a simple loaf of bread—and how this simple food says “home.” Not just the happy things one remembers about home, but also perhaps a level of care that you may not have felt in your home growing up, or are not feeling at the moment because you’re stuck in the middle of a tough spell of events...a home better than your earthly home. A simple piece of bread showed Cleopas and his buddy a glimpse of their heavenly home, their eyes were opened, and then, although the resurrected Jesus vanishes, they are left holding the gift of “home”, and they are expected to feed themselves with it. Wow. That’s pretty deep!

What this all tells me is that God will find a way to stick a hunk of his grace in my hand when I need it, even if I’m so hyper-fixated on whatever’s troubling me that I can’t even see him standing right in front of me. That’s a good thing to think about in those dark moments I tend to have. It’s a promise beyond what I’m used to—no doubt I won’t adjust to that promise right away—but there it is.



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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