Church on the streets
“As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;” (15)
The conception about church and its functions should be a matter of discussion these days. Many of us perceive church as something that functions within the walls. We make huge buildings and all its glamour and want to present church as a static monument. But this passage illustrates the importance of perceiving church as movement and understands its functions beyond the four walls. After the resurrection Jesus wanted to meet these disciples, who were travelling from Jerusalem to Emmaus, on the street. I remember the statement of Bishop Bernard Mores in this context. He said “if the people are not coming to the church; the church should go to the people”. So this presents the church as something moving towards people and not people moving towards the church.
Church: reaching out people in their spaces
This passage encourages us to understand church as the body of Christ, which is reaching out people in their contexts. It may be on the streets, may be on the work places, may on their homes so on and so forth. We, the church, should understand the different situations in which its members and non members are going through and should reach out them in their spaces. We need to redefine the ‘space’ of the church today. Many a time the danger is we claim ourselves as the body of Christ but fail to understand the parts of our body. We live as one body but don’t know the pain and suffering of the different parts. Here Jesus is confronting the desperate disciples and transforming them. Jesus was able to understand them in their spaces and moved into their space. This is the mission that He wants us to carry out in this generation. Are we able to move into the spaces of others to understand them and communicate the love of Christ.
Church: Walking near with others
We live in busy world and we walk with many people. This passage challenges us to ask the question ‘ how many of us are walking near with each other. When the Gospel writer wrote “Jesus walked near (along) with them” he intended to communicate something. Jesus walked near with them. This is a model to the church and to every one of us. These days we are becoming too impersonal to each other. We don’t have time to relate with each other, to love each other and to share with each other. Church is becoming a place where we ‘show up’ but not share. Jesus removed their confusions and restored them to confessions by walking near with them. Jesus gave them the hope in their hopelessness by walking near with them. Let us rededicate ourselves to redefine the role of the church, the body of Christ.
Prayer: Merciful Lord, give us the courage to see the church on the streets and help us be a movement towards the spaces of others. Amen
Thought for the day: Church is a movement not a monument.
Rev.V.M Mathew, Youth Chaplain, New York