I have to admit that I'm posting this mostly because I like the Velasquez painting below, "Kitchen Maid With the Supper at Emmaus." Check out that priceless expression: "Whoa...something really big is happening in there..."
But I also wanted to share something our pastor noted this morning in his sermon. When does Jesus tend to show up in these post-Resurrection visits to his friends? When the chips are down; when they're disheartened; when things have fallen completely apart. And he shows up in the context of community.
Our pastor talked about The Troubles in the ELCA and elsewhere in Christendom...about the radical reshaping of our economy and social safety net that's destroying any sense of security in the lives of many...the "powers and principalities" of consumerism and pop culture that continually bombard us with messages that we are not good enough and keep us in a constant state of dissatisfaction and anxiety. The world's message to us is -- You may run, you may hide, but eventually we are going to break you.
But the good news is...that's the point when Jesus comes around. And Jesus comes around when we get together as the people of God...in church this morning...next weekend when our church's confirmation class graduates plan to prepare and host a special evening supper and "welcome to confirmation class" party for the younger kids in our congregation...when we invite a friend to lunch...when we help someone out...and -- I'm absolutely convinced of this -- when we scattered pilgrims connect via the Internet and create community. Thanks be to God for the victorious Christ who always -- always -- comes to dinner, and to anywhere else where the people of God get together.