Friday, 6 May 2011

On the Road to Emmaus

by Peter Lockhart

When the disciples are talking to the stranger on the Emmaus road one of the things which they say to him is that they had hoped in Jesus. What goes unsaid is that now they are hopeless.

“We had hoped”, but now our hope is gone.

This hopelessness is not simply the sense of grief which overwhelms them as they mourn for their friend but a more engulfing hopelessness. For them the promised Messiah was to restore the fortunes of Israel, he would bring an utter and complete change in their lives giving meaning and purpose.

For the disciples Jesus’ death undoes hope, shatters meaning and confuses purpose in life. It means a massive change in perception for them.

Changes in life and the world around us can always have a big impact and when the fundamental building blocks shift, as they did with the disciples, there can be a loss of hope.

For me this means the kind foundation and the building blocks a person constructs their life around are vital.

Today is mother’s day and whilst it is a day to give thanks for mothers it is also always a day filled with ambiguity. Yes, some of us have great memories of our mothers but the reality is that for many people the relationship was strained. For some of you your mother is no longer with you or maybe your children are no longer with you. Whatever your situation the relationship and bond between a mother and child is an important one whether it is a good one or bad one and it certainly contributes to formation of person’s life.

This is a big responsibility thrust on mothers but not them alone, fathers, teachers and other significant role models also contribute to the formation of children into functioning members of our society.

Children come with curiosity and desire for understanding that can be quite blunt and open. They want to how and why and who because they are looking for meaning and purpose and hope.

The question for us on this day is what kind of foundation and building blocks are we to use to give them that meaning and purpose and hope.

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