Reflection and Sunday Service 30 April

  a green cross motif  30 April 2017

a wee reflection on the week ...

60th birthday wishes

So where did those 60 years go?

As part of my birthday ‘celebration’ (really?) I simply wanted the family to have a bit of time together away from work and worry and the usual stresses, and so The Trossachs seemed a good choice.  Not far away geographically, but another world, and one of my favourite places where I have cycled and climbed often in the past.  It also meant the youngsters might be able to meet up in the midst of their active lives and shift work.

A walk up Ben A’an is not too high a hike, but stretches the aged and provides stunning views over the hills and lochs with sight of deer and osprey.  The next day it was on the Sir Walter Scott to the far end of the loch, off at Strochalachan and cycle back the 14 miles. A little thing I had always wanted to do but never gotten round to.  The family did of course have something to say that I had not mentioned the hilliness of the road, though I did indicate that we were in the highlands after all and what did they expect!  There was a little swimming and too much eating along with a great lemon birthday cake made by my daughter.

But it was in the walking together, cycling together, the boat trip together and eating together, that so much is shared and enjoyed and learned.  There are times it is good to be alone, to read alone, to think alone, but the conversations when side by side on a path or on a bike or around a table are affirming, growing and sacramental.

The beautiful story of the Road to Emmaus is one which reflects this journey. Two tired and confused friends walk along a road and as they chat together, share stories, and support one another in their sadness a stranger walks beside them.  They sit down and eat together and as bread is broken a conversation becomes a sacrament.

The ordinary things of life can become sacramental, but sometimes it takes a little time aside to realise.  And it need not only be on special birthdays that we take the time to notice those with whom we travel this journey of life, and even the strangers we have encountered along the way.

And I look forward to the many new journeys I will make once my Bus Pass comes through the letter box.


this sunday’s service: 3rd Sunday of Easter


Luke 24:13-35  The Walk to Emmaus

13 On that same day two of Jesus' followers were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them; 16 they saw him, but somehow did not recognize him. 17 Jesus said to them, “What are you talking about to each other, as you walk along?”

They stood still, with sad faces. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn't know the things that have been happening there these last few days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. “This man was a prophet and was considered by God and by all the people to be powerful in everything he said and did. 20 Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and he was crucified. 21 And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened. 22 Some of the women of our group surprised us; they went at dawn to the tomb, 23 but could not find his body. They came back saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. 24 Some of our group went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.”

25 Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said! 26 Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory?” 27 And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets.

28 As they came near the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther; 29 but they held him back, saying, “Stay with us; the day is almost over and it is getting dark.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Wasn't it like a fire burning in us when he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others 34 and saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!”

35 The two then explained to them what had happened on the road, and how they had recognized the Lord when he broke the bread.


COMMENTS on Matthew 28.1-10

The walk to Emmaus is one of the best-loved stories of Jesus' resurrection.  The passage has layers to it: the narrative itself and what is said through the details of the story about the Early Church's experience of the risen Christ.  The story points to the importance in the Early Church of making meaning of the suffering of Jesus, through reinterpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.  This is what the stranger explains to the two disciples after they have told the story of Jesus from a pre-resurrection perspective. 

As they talked about the story of Jesus and try to make some sense of his life and death, he became real to them;

as they showed hospitality to the stranger, they welcomed Christ;

and, as the man broke bread and shared it with them they recognised that he was still with them.  They knew, because “it was like a fire burning inside them!”

When did our faith last feel like a fire burning inside?

In the company of journeying with others

In the reading and reflecting on scripture

In showing hospitality to the stranger

In the breaking of bread with others

Jesus draws near and comes alive for us.


“When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain;

Thy touch can call us back to life again,

Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:

Love is come again,

Like wheat that springeth green.”

CH4. 417


a prayer

"The Celtic Rune of Hospitality"

I saw a stranger yestreen;

I put food in the eating place,

drink in the drinking place ...

often, often, often

goes the Christ

in the stranger's guise.




The Reflection and Sunday Service is taken from the weE bulletin which the minister emails each week to those interested whether or not they belong to the church. If you wish to be on the mailing list please let the minister, Stewart McPherson know.

You can have a look at a weE bulletin by clicking here.