I truly do believe that when God closes a door in our lives, He always opens another door....or at least a window and that is especially true right now in my life. I went on my Emmaus walk back in 2002. It was Mother's Day weekend and believe me....I did not want to be there. I mean come on....it was Mother's Day! I know if my sponsor's keys had been in plain site I would have gotten into her trunk and come home.....but something inside of me said stay....and I am so glad I listened to the whisper deep in my heart and stayed. What an event!
As most of my readers know I have really been struggling with my mom's dementia as I lose her more and more each day. I made up my mind that I needed some help....and set up a counseling session. I took a half day off, Frank picked me up from school (my car was still in the shop), and we headed off into the wild blue yonder. While we were eating lunch I got a call from the counselers office saying he was going to have to reschedule. I would be lying if I did not say I was disappointed....but the day was lovely and Frank took such good care of me that by the time we got home I was feeling pretty spiffy. so spiffy that I did nothing on the computer. I read....and when I got to work on Wednesday morning there it was.....an email just for me. That door that God opened after the first one closed. I had a request from an Emmaus person to help with music at a walk next weekend. I could hardly breath. I closed my emails and reopened them to make sure I was not dreaming. There it was....right where I left it. I emailed Frank and Mr. Reyes to see if it was even doable. (Next week is the Graduation Exam and I am scheduled to give it on Tues/Thurs)....both responded back in the positive so my next step was contact Mrs. English (name changed on purpose). She was delighted. I was delighted. All was right with the world. I cannot wait to next Weds. I am meeting her to swap off music sometime on Sunday. Wish me luck and pray for me. Now....some of you are probably wondering...what is Emmaus and why is it such a big deal? Well let me tell you...."The Walk to Emmaus is a spiritual renewal program intended to strengthen the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. The program's approach seriously considers the model of Christ's servanthood and encourages Christ's disciples to act in ways appropriate to being "a servant of all." The Walk to Emmaus experience begins with a 72-hour short course in Christianity, comprised of fifteen talks by lay and clergy on the themes of God's grace, disciplines of Christian discipleship, and what it means to be the church. The course is wrapped in prayer and meditation, special times of worship and daily celebration of Holy Communion. The "Emmaus community," made up of those who have attended an Emmaus weekend, support the 72-hour experience with a prayer vigil, by preparing and serving meals, and other acts of love and self-giving. The Emmaus Walk typically begins Wednesday evening and concludes Saturday evening at Camp Alimisco. Men and women attend separate weekends. Both Frank and I have gone. During and after the three days, Emmaus leaders encourage participants to meet regularly in small groups. The members of the small groups challenge and support one another in faithful living. Participants seek to Christianize their environments of family, job, and community through the ministry of their congregations. The three-day Emmaus experience and follow-up groups strengthen and renew Christian people as disciples of Jesus Christ and as active members of the body of Christ in mission to the world. The Upper Room, a ministry unit of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church, sponsors the Walk to Emmaus and offers it through local Emmaus groups around the world. Although connected through The Upper Room to The United Methodist Church, The Walk to Emmaus is non-denominational. The Walk to Emmaus® gets its name from the story in Luke 24:13-35, which provides the central image for the three-day experience and follow-up. Luke tells the story of that first Easter afternoon when the risen Christ appeared to the two disciples who were walking together along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Like Christians and churches who are blinded by preoccupation with their own immediate difficulties, these two disciples' sadness and hopelessness seemed to prevent them from seeing God's redemptive purpose in things that had happened. And yet, the risen Christ "came near and went with them," opening the disciples' eyes to his presence and lighting the fire of God's love in their hearts. As they walked to Emmaus, Jesus explained to them the meaning of all the scriptures concerning himself. When they arrived in Emmaus, Jesus "took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them," and their eyes were opened. They recognized him as Jesus, the risen Lord, and they remembered how their hearts had burned within them as they talked with him on the road. Within the hour, the two disciples left Emmaus and returned immediately to their friends in Jerusalem. As they told stories about their encounters with the risen Lord, Jesus visited them again with a fresh awareness of his living presence.
However, the story of Jesus' resurrection does not conclude with the disciples' personal spiritual experiences. Jesus ascended to the Father, and the disciples became the body of the risen Christ through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were sent forth by the Spirit to bear witness to the good news of God in Jesus Christ. They learned to walk in the spirit of Jesus, to proclaim the gospel to a disbelieving world, and to persevere in grace through spiritual companionship with one another.
The Walk to Emmaus offers today's disciples a parallel opportunity to rediscover Christ's presence in their lives, to gain fresh understanding of God's transforming grace, and to form friendships that foster faith and support spiritual maturity. While Emmaus provides a pathway to the mountaintop of God's love, it also supports pilgrims' return to the world in the power of the Spirit to share the love they have received with a hurtful and hurting world. " I don't know about you....but I think my God is Good!
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.