SADNESS vs. SUNDAY

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, ‘What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?’” (Lk 24: 13-17)

 

These two disciples “are sad,” and walking to Emmaus, “that same day.” What day is that? It’s that very Sunday two millennia ago, on which the women discovered the Tomb empty, and were told, “He is not here, but is risen!” (Lk 24: 6) And then, on that same day, these women related the news “to the eleven and to all the rest” (of the disciples), but “they did not believe them.” (Lk 24: 11) So, despite this being the Sunday of the Resurrection, and despite having heard The Best News Ever, these two walking to Emmaus “are sad.”

 

Now, here’s a rather silly thought, but it makes sense to me at the moment, so I’ll share it: Let me not be “sad” this Sunday. I may have plenty of “bad news” to contemplate, and to read about online, and to have conversations about, “sadly.” But on Sundays my attention is drawn, in a special way in our Sunday church-services, to The Best News Ever. And that news is, that Christ has walked through the saddest, darkest aspects of our humanity, even unto death and descent into hell, and overcome all that, in His light-giving, life-creating Self. He doesn’t avoid it, all the death and darkness, but rather walks through it, trampling death “by death.” 

 

So in communion with Christ, I am also given the capacity to walk through the “sad” and the “bad.” This doesn’t mean “sugar-coating” it or denying its existence, but embracing the company of One Who paves our Way through it all, on the path of His life-affirming, light-giving Cross. So let us choose light today, in our thoughts and actions and conversations, lest the risen Lord, in our midst at our Sunday-gatherings, begins to wonder, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another,” on this fine autumn Sunday, as you talk "and are sad?”

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