10 May 2012

Eastertide Guest Post: on the Emmaus Road

Featherglen came up trumps for our (Sheila's and my) Eastertide Guest Post series with not one but two blog posts. I introduced her in yesterday's post, about her Eastertide garden. Today she shares several ways of telling and remembering the story of the Emmaus Road. I appreciate how sensitive she is to the context of worship - the community, the physical location, the resources available. It's wonderful that she's included so many photos (please honor her request, "If you want to use any of them, please be lovely enough to ask me first."). I took the liberty of re-arranging them slightly, dividing the post into an introduction and then three sections.

Although all the accounts of the Resurrection are amazing, one that I particularly love is the appearance of Jesus to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Yes, it is strange that they don't recognise Him - but then they aren't expecting him either - somehow He is the same but different - that's certainly what I'm hoping for myself anyway! What I love is that He doesn't just jump in and shock them and say 'I'm back!' but takes the time to walk with two grieving, wondering men. He walks alongside them, listens to them and then starts to help them put the pieces together. It is only in the breaking of the bread that finally they see Him. It certainly reminds me of my own encounters with Jesus.

For us in L'Arche, it has been a powerful theme, that God walks with us. We have used it on L'Arche retreats, with large wooden figures. When I encountered Godly Play, it seemed like a natural extension of what we do in many ways already.

Also, in L'Arche, every Easter Sunday, we read the story and it is mimed by our core members ( the adults with learning disabilities that form the centre of our Community). We use our long driveway and over the years we have even made a quite permanent looking signpost. I enjoy seeing it when I arrive at L'Arche in the morning, it reminds me of my continuing walk with Christ. I think it could be a great story to do with children, outdoors, along a quiet road.

Earlier this year I also got hold of the book 'Young Children and Worship' by Sonja M. Stewart and Jerome Berryman. It is the forerunner to Godly Play. I was thrilled to discover it has an Emmaus Road story in it. However, being too busy I haven't had the time to really learn it - but after a quick look and drawing on elements of the story I have heard and participated in in so many ways each year - I told it to our family. We just did it after dinner one evening, at the table, which felt appropriate. We did  a quick raid of my son's wooden castle blocks, then used some wooden figures, a bit of bread and a candle (our Christ candle). At the end of the story, instead of wondering, we broke and shared some bread together. And in that simple moment, Jesus walked among us anew. Amen...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Featherglen. I love that image you close with. In fact, I'd argue that you ARE Wondering, or at least somewhere between Wondering and Response, by breaking bread and communing with Jesus after the story. I'm adamant that Wondering doesn't always have to be verbal!


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