There And Back Again

Sermon Notes



Want to recount a story today…. Traumapowerfriendship….and humanity….and divinity.





People and events mark our lives.

That’s how we tell our stories.


A person and an event are MY earliest memory.  June 10, 1945.  A war had been won.  And people gathered in the streets to celebrate.


VIDEO:  “Eisenhower Victory Parade in New York City.


This morning’s story is about THAT….A VICTORY WON!


So fresh…so current…THEY DIDN’T KNOW!

Just a week ago we had the parade…..palm branches and coats on the ground….and crowds cheering “HOSANNA!”


BUT, at this moment, on a country road we are in shock and grief!!!




What a week it had been….Passover was always big, but this was HUGE!  A Messiah is in town…..throw out the Romans…get some life.

No more profound period in world history than that 72 hours …Thursday night to Sunday night in that Jerusalem spring


Disciples…apprentices….just like us.


Their leader and hope, Jesus of Nazareth, Not an older guy, in today’s metrics, a millennial.  FUTURE crushed in front of their eyes.





Answer:  You head for your friends!


This is THAT story…..



Luke 24:13-35 (NIV)


13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.


15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.


17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”


They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”


19 “What things?” he asked.  “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.


22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”


25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 


28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.


30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.


32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”


33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together


34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”


35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.


36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”


37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.


38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”


40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.


41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”


42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.


So many facets…

How he approached them?  Joined.

What He said? Questions

What He did?  A natural thing….ate.


Pivotal point:

Three nights before: “He took the bread, gave thanks, and broke it…” (Luke 22:19)


“Do you have anything to eat….” Emmaus, Jerusalem, Galilee…


In the middle of….

Belief, disbelief, incredulity, doubt, wonder, too-good-to-be-true…did something that they connected to.



This is Jesus’s approach to teaching….revelation:

This is what is going to happen!

This is what happened!


We almost never get it the first time.  Takes several tries for us to say “Aha!”

(Peter on the beach at the charcoal fire)



Jesus goes out of his way…and into our way….TO OPEN OUR EYES and we really SEE Him!



         When He opens the Scriptures, He opens their eyes.


Children’s Bible story book—Senator: “Can I get one of those?



Something about the Scriptures. Denny…Hebrews 4:12

Sometimes uses “Aha!” moments to steer us to THE STORY:

The simplest thing….the unlikeliest people…

Idaho Ph.D. in math….


Where does He do THAT?

In our darkest moments…..on a country road….when we are with friends….over dinner.


  1. When we are trying to figure things out (discussed!)

Last week:  He is Risen!  He is Risen indeed….

BUT on THAT day—

“You’re kidding

“Where have you been….under a rock?



  1. When we expected something else (redemption of Israel)

Sign north of Madison on Highway 29:

Jesus Christ, King of Kings…firewood delivered!


Life is what happens when….Jesus is what happens


We desperately need the “Aha!”….

                                    …. the reassurance of the table

                                                      To know that life is not hopeless

Open my eyes, Lord!

Ruth on May 24, 2013…

That morning she woke up: ”look, move, squeeze, shrug, smile…two thumbs up!”






Dick Foth