Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Mass in Mass? | Jesus Walks Your Emmaus Road with You


Washington Cathedral 3rd Station: Resurrection "The Walk to Emmaus" by Rowan LeCompte + Irene Matz LeCompte

 

Can 3 ancient, and perhaps fresh again, words help us consider Jesus?


How does a person come to a place where they consider Jesus? For many, they immediately think of church building space and all the negative, neutral, or curious things that have happened there. After all, a service of worship, or mass for many in Massachusetts, can be a bit of a weird, mysterious thing. 

Why do people do this religious stuff like gathering together on a weekend to pray, listen, and maybe even sing? Why is it called a mass? What is it for? Is it just a tradition, a means to brainwash a person into a certain set of morals or sayings, or a time to potentially receive good advice for life? Or is it more?  
Three ancient, yet also fresh words due to their meaning –liturgyekklesia, and mass – have actually helped me engage the questions above.  
The word liturgy means the "work of the people" (John 6:29). 
The Greek word for church – ekklesia – means "a public gathering of people for a service to society" (Matthew 16:18-19). 
And the word mass originates from the Latin phrase ite – missa est, which means “go – you are sent out” (John 20:21-22).  
In understanding a bit more of the meaning of these three words, I have begun to grasp more of what Jesus is actually inviting us to consider when He meets us on our roads and we come, either cautiously, curiously, or courageously, to explore faith with Him.

According to Jesus in the story of the Bible, faith is trusting in the Gospel or Good News that God created a very good world to be with us in and to bring forth its potential. And even though we rebelled and invited in the selfishness, erosion, and destruction that we see in us and around us, God continued to pursue us and made the way through Jesus – via His whole-making life, death-defeating death, and victorious resurrection and ascension – to heal and save us. He came to restore everything that is broken in us and around us and to make all things new for those who put their trust in Him. 

So the goal of an ekklesia or local church that believes in Jesus is to share the history, meaning, and application of this Story of God during the liturgy of each mass in order to remember, learn, believe, and participate with God in His good work of blessing and transforming everyday lives

It's true. A service of worship with Jesus’ Church is a bit of a curious thing. But it's also full of a story worth sharing and living into again and again. 


The Road to Emmaus by Daniel Bonnell


An invitation for you to come be curious about Christ with us


After reading the words above, if you have grown in your curiosity to connect with someone who can share more about Jesus with you, we'd love to meet you. Or if you're not quite ready for that yet, feel free to email us at info@emmauscitychurch.com and we'll respond.

Depending on your history or background, you may still be wondering why you're even considering Jesus. It's OK. Whatever your story, God knows it and He has been walking with you even if you don’t believe in Him. Why? Because that’s so many of our stories.

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus met two people who thought He was dead after being crucified, and they were walking away from any connection to Him. But He pursued them and met them where they were. He walked with them, talked with them, and stayed with them. And when they invited Him to come in and eat a meal with them in the town of Emmaus, He broke bread with them – and then they realized it was Him. After this stunning moment, they returned to Jerusalem immediately (in the middle of a doubtful and dangerous night no less), racing to tell their friends that somehow death had been defeated and nothing would be the same. They experienced a history-altering and personally-transforming moment with Jesus, and then they walked with a faith, hope, and love that changed their lives and others.

We are praying for you that you will also come to experience this type of encounter with Jesus so that you will know Him and understand the great grace that God provides for all who meet Jesus on their journey of life.


Many blessings of peace and presence,

Rev. Mike “Sully” Sullivan

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