One of my favourite Bible stories is a story read in church around this time of year.
It is one of the Easter stories recalling the journey of two people to a place called Emmaus.
They are sad, weary and bewildered as they walk back home, for only a few days ago their friend Jesus was crucified.
Yet as they set off back home they are joined by a stranger who, as he walks with them, talks to them.
They wonder where he has been these last few days to know so little of their story - a story they thought everyone would know. Nonetheless they tell him all about it.
The companions soon reach home and, though the stranger acts as if to carry on with his journey, they ask him to come in to share a meal.
As they begin to eat the stranger picks up the bread from the table and breaks it.
All of a sudden they realise he isn’t a stranger at all.
Rather, it is Jesus who they had walked and talked and ate with so many times before. Jesus - risen from the dead - as he said he would.
Now I haven’t conveyed the full wonder of that story from Luke chapter 24 – look it up to see how Luke tells it much better.
But hopefully you have the impression of what I am talking about.
And perhaps that story resonates with experiences of our own not just at Easter time but at other points in our lives?
Times when even in our pains, sorrows, disappointments and bewilderment there is a deep sense of God’s presence with us -– and of the power this experience has to transform us.
The Rev Angela Whittaker
On behalf of St Mark’s Church, Natland