Hope for the Hopeless

2020-04-26 – Year A – Easter 3 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Acts 2:14a, 36-47; Psalm 116:11-16; Luke 24:13-35

  • I want you to think about a time when you felt hopeless.
  • St. Patrick sold captured and sold as a slave at 16. “I would pray constantly during the daylight hours,” he later recalled. “The love of God and the fear of him surrounded me more and more. And faith grew. And the spirit roused so that in one day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and at night only slightly less.” (1)
  • Situations that seem bleak but are just around the corner from the glory of God.
  • “But we had hoped…” (v. 21)
  • v. 16 “Their eyes were kept from recognizing him.”

God’s Plan

  • God sees long-term – (v. 27) Jesus “interpreted to them in all the Scriptures all the things concerning himself.”
    • God wasn’t surprised by Judas, or Pilate, or the High Priest, or the Pharisees, or the Crucifixion.
    • He revealed many of these events through prophets long before they happened in ways that became very clear after they took place.
    • God knew what would happen and he did it anyway.
    • John 3:16 – God so loved the world…
  • God isn’t surprised by the events and situations in your life either. He will find ways to use it all for good in your life and in the life of his kingdom.
  • “Hindsight is 20/20.” With God, we can’t always see what he is up to in the middle of the crisis, but looking back we can see his hand guiding us.
    • In my own life, God has put to use all kinds of skills and experiences during the last few months of leading our church through coronavirus.
  • Patrick’s slavery turned him toward the God of his fathers and built his faith.

God’s Revealing

  • It is so glorious when we finally get to see what God is up to!
  • After six years of slavery, a mysterious, supernatural voice spoke to him: “Soon you will return to your homeland.”
  • The Emmaus road disciples found their revelation around the dinner table. v. 30-32
    • Word and Sacrament
      • “Known to them in the breaking of the bread” (v. 35)
      • “Did not our hearts burn within us…” (v.32)

God’s Resolution

  • Patrick finally found his freedom one day with the opportunity to escape. He ran 200 miles to the coast and boarded a ship back home. Though ultimately he would return to Ireland, not as a slave, but as a missionary Bishop to convert his former captors.
  • Of course, the resolution of the Road to Emmaus story is the Resurrection.
  • Jesus, who the disciples thought was dead, is alive!
  • How will God resolve your situation? Whatever your situation is, God is holding you in his hands. Just as Moses promised his people, I can promise you, God “will never leave your or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
  • Jesus is alive, and he is always with you. Alleluia!

1. Quotations about the life of St. Patrick are taken from Mark Galli and Ted Olsen, 131 Christians Everyone Should Know (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 230.

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