Welcome + Worship + Witness

The Rector: Love is come again

The Rector

Bolton Abbey Parish Magazine

April 2015

Love is come again

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,

He that for three days in the grave had lain.

Quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen:

Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

Two friends, walking together one Sunday towards a village, are joined by a stranger. He proves to be quite talkative. The friends invite the stranger to stay with them when they reach their destination, for darkness is falling. The stranger sits to eat with them and, after giving thanks to God, breaks bread. Then he is a stranger no longer: the friends’ eyes are opened. This, in brief, is the story of Cleopas and another follower of Jesus on the road to Emmaus, near Jerusalem, which St Luke records in his Gospel. It is the story of two friends, burdened by grief at the death of their teacher, who welcome a stranger to walk with them; who tell the stranger about the hopes they had invested in Jesus and who, in turn, listen to what the stranger has to say to them. When recognition finally dawns, in the breaking of the bread, the conversation they had on the road to Emmaus makes sense: they ask each other excitedly, ‘were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened up the Scriptures to us?’

Like Cleopas and his friend, we are disciples on the Way and there is much that we can learn from their story. About welcoming the stranger who suddenly appears in our midst; about sharing the story of Jesus with those we meet on the way; about listening to the different insights that others might have to offer, and about the practice of hospitality through sharing food. More than all this, we can learn that Jesus is not a remote figure from an irrecoverable past, forever locked in a book. Jesus is the living Word of God, seeking us out and longing for our hearts to burn within us with love for him as we recognise him as our risen Saviour.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

With warm Easter greetings,