SERMON TITLE: “Open Our Eyes” (50 Days for the Earth Series)
SERMON TEXT: Luke 24:13-35
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: May 3, 2020, at First UMC
The 50-day season between Easter and Pentecost coincides nicely with this year’s 50-year anniversary of Earth Day. In honor of that alignment, I’m using the Easter-season scriptures to talk not only about Jesus’ resurrection and ours, but also about the revitalization of the earth. Two Sundays ago, we noted that Doubting Thomas was better able to believe in Jesus’ resurrection when he got his hands dirty by touching Jesus’ wounds, just like we might be able to believe more in the life-regenerating value of the earth if we get our hands dirty planting seeds in the garden. Last Sunday, using Psalm 23, we talked about how God wants to shepherd us not just in heaven after we die, but first in the green valleys and beside the still waters of this planet.
Today’s scripture takes us back to the gospels for another post-resurrection story. According to Luke 24, it was later on Easter day when two of Jesus’ followers were walking from Jerusalem toward the village of Emmaus. As they made their way, the resurrected Jesus himself came near and walked with them. But, like a strange comedy, they didn’t recognize who he was. We readers know right away and can hardly wait for the punch-line revelation to occur. But, for the disciples in the story, it took quite a process before their eyes were opened to recognize Jesus and see what was happening.
Of course, the stories in the Bible are never told just so we will know what happened to those people a long time ago. So let’s dig into this Emmaus story and think about what it might take for God to open our eyes.