Of all the cool post-resurrection stories in Scripture, my favorite is the account of the disciples walking along the road to Emmaus on the very day that Christ rose from the dead:
That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him. (Luke 24: 13-16, NLT)
I have been encouraged to write a regular blog by colleagues, particularly Paul Mouw, at Judson University, where I serve as Director for the Center for Worship in the Performing Arts, for some time. Only recently, however, have I felt that our Lord might have something for me to say via this medium. It still feels a tad presumptuous—yet one more voice in the already cacophonous blogosphere?—but with this post I jump in, humbly, and pray that God will be honored and those of His people who stumble upon the words composed here will be blessed.
The title of this blog is Emmaus Road Worshipers, and it comes from the notion I first encountered in a sermon delivered by Rev. Dr. Constance Cherry, Prof. of Worship and Pastoral Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University and a professor at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies (where I received my Doctor of Worship Studies degree): Perhaps modern-day disciples of Jesus, like those walking on the road to Emmaus, find themselves in His midst without recognizing Him more often than not, or at least on a somewhat-regular basis—especially in corporate-worship settings. In the spirit of C.S. Lewis’ Surprised by Joy, then, I hope a recurring theme of this blog would be Surprised by Worship.
At the end of their encounter with the risen Jesus, the disciples
said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.” (Luke 24: 32-34, NLT)
Indeed, the disciples were stunned, changed, and determined—not a bad place to be at the end of corporate worship.
My goal is to post each Monday, as the Lord gives strength and insight. Thanks in advance for reading. The Lord be with you!