Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures but imagine a large old barn with two paddling pools (one blue filled with water - and giant jenga blogs around the edge - and one yellow full of play sand) There is also a rather funky light display that looks like flowing water.
Into this dark space come 60 or so young people and leaders. There is some chillout music playing (details on request).
This evening we are continuing to focus on the Story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. After Jesus death two of his followers left Jerusalem for a town called Emmaus. Cleopas and his companion are relatively unknown and yet they were part of the founding of the church. God takes ordinary people and brings them into his story and uses them.
So leave behind all the things of the world. The things that are on your mind. We invite you to join Cleopas and his companion on a journey. Leave behind this time and enter God’s story. Let God’s story be your story.
That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was. He asked, "What's this you're discussing so intently as you walk along?" Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, "Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn't heard what's happened during the last few days?" He said, "What has happened?" Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn't find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn't see Jesus." Then he said to them, "So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can't you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don't you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?" Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him. They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: "Stay and have supper with us. It's nearly evening; the day is done." So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. Back and forth they talked. "Didn't we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?"
Luke 24:13-32 in the Message version from Crosswalk.
So you’re on that journey with your friend Cleopas. Take some sand to help you think about that long dusty journey.
We feel the sand
You and Cleopas think about all the things that have happened with Jesus. The supper for Passover and that thing with the cup and the bread. Then the time in the Garden and Jesus is arrested and killed.
Then this strange news from the women that his body has disappeared.
A Person meets you
He asks what you have been talking about and you tell him all about it.
Then he asks but what has been happening in YOUR life and you start to tell him all the things that you’ve done. The stuff you’re really pleased about your family, your friends.
Then you realise you’re telling this guy everything you’ve ever done including all the stuff you know you shouldn’t have done. The stuff you’re not proud of the stuff you wish you hadn’t done. Things you would never tell ANYONE not even your mates or your family.
And he listens
He just takes it all.
So imagine all of those things. All of those uncomfortable niggling things are the grains of sand in your hand.
Jesus is going to take them all from you all the it. So just drop it.
Even those little bits that cling. The things you can’t quite let go. He’ll take all of those. Wash your hands in the pool and see – it all goes away.
People wash their hands in the pool
Then you travel on
You and Cleopas arrive at Emmaus
You invite the man to share bread with you and he takes the bread and breaks it and THEN that’s when you see Jesus for who he is.
We share some bread
As we eat it think about community and how People do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Jesus said I am the bread of Life.
Bread – it’s boring it’s an everyday thing.
So often we think about all those everyday material things.
It’s in the breaking of the bread that we see Jesus and what is the response of Cleopas and his companions. They had tracked seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus and their reaction to seeing Jesus is to leap into action and go straight back. They are fired up by it.
Jesus’ story doesn’t lead us only to hear it, to take it in but to take that story out.
Jesus leaves you but he remains with you in spirit and in the sharing of bread
Bread is not what life is about. Life is about something deeper.
It’s not about what you put in your mouth but what words you speak with your mouth and allow God to speak through you.
We’ve thought about our community here and our communities at home.
When you go home what are you going to say to people? Are you just going to tell them what you ate?
Or will you tell them something deeper?
What are you feeding yourself with do you need to rely on the holy Spirit
How is your life going to be changed?
Now that’s all from us.
As a sign of the message you’re going to share the light of Christ that you’re going to shine into the world, you can light a candle and set it floating in the pool. I don’t want you to do this because it seems like fun. Only if you really want to make a commitment to shine as a point of light in the darkness of the world. To show that you are going to focus not on bread but on the word of God.
Light floating candlesSo you go out to share the message
What message are you going to share?