First Presbyterian Church of Conrad, IA

He is Here!

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 tings 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 father. (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."

"He is Here!"

1. He's Here, But Easy to Miss

a) Connecting the "dots" of "The Story"
- How could they/we miss it?
- Jesus opened the Scriptures to the disciples like we have opened the Scriptures by studying "The Story"

b) Moving from "head" to "heart"
- Knowing about Christ is a good start
- Relationship happens when we get a case of "holy heartburn"

c) Avoid "Clueless in Conrad"
- Refocusing life on the "Upper Story"
- Events happen for a reason
- God's purposes/plan will be carried out

2. Remembering as a Reminder

a) The reason for ritual
- Detecting God's presence in the familiar
- "Magic" places, experiences, memories
- Open hearts means putting brains in the background for awhile

b) God's "Remembering System"
- Scriptures remind us of how God has "shown up" in the past
- Our life experiences "continue" the story

c) Observing the reminders
- God has placed reminders all around us
- All of creation as a witness
- The heavens are telling...
- The rocks will cry out...

3. Learn to Expect His Presence

a) The advantage of history
- Disciples didn't have the advantage of history on that first Easter morning
- We have a record of Jesus "showing up" to draw from

b) The disadvantage of history
- We can get "lost" in the past
- "God doesn't show up today like He did back then..."

c) "Living forward" with anticipation
- Praying for "God eyes"
- Living "expectantly"
- God is still doing great things; wants to do them in you, in others, in the world
- Cultivate eager desire to see, participate in God's plan, the building of Christ's kingdom
- He is here - let Him show you!

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