Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“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. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 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. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
When I first saw the title of this week I had mixed feelings. I have since I was a little girl respected honesty. I literally HATED lies. I still do today. I could even spot a lie from a young age. And reading the scripture for the week, I was even more confused. What had this scripture to do with honesty? Then as Pastor Greg started the children’s message, it became blatantly clear that his message was about a different kind of honesty. The honesty of being true to one’s self.
Do you ever read the “Faith Talk Starters” in our bulletins? I find they really help me “dig in” to the meaning of the Sunday messages and this week’s questions really hit home. Living a life of honesty without regret is something I often battle. You see I am what you might call over-emotional. I cry at everything, or I laugh. I hug too hard and want to hold people I care about too much. According to some of my family, I am just too everything. Too happy, too caring, too silly, too sensitive. But I really like what one friend told me Sunday morning, as she saw me wiping tears after the message. “Fran, you’re just passionate!”
Being true to one’s self might mean being who we are, and not being ashamed of it. As a child, I was the one being silly or loud and often I am that way now but whatever God has put into my design I must be thankful for it. For as Paul said in I Corinthians 9:22-23 “I must become all things to all people in order that I might save some.” And if by being “too much,” I can help bring others to a deeper understanding of what they are to God. And how much he loves “who we are really?” Well maybe that’s okay. Maybe it’s okay to let others know they are loved, or felt proud of.
Pastor Eric once told me that my tears were a sign that the Holy Spirit is touching my heart and I should listen. Maybe that’s something I should remember. To be true to myself, I must continually accept that this is how God made me and He seemed okay with it so I should be too.
Abba Father, thank you for loving the people we are. Thank you for accepting our shortcomings and strengths and teaching us to use what you give us to further your kingdom, however that may be. Amen.
Written by Fran Baatz