Saturday, May 14, 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 words – liturgyekklesiamass – help us consider Jesus?

How does you come to a place where they consider Jesus? After all, a service of worship or mass can be a bit of a weird, mysterious thing. 

Why do people do this? Why is it called a mass? What is the mass for? Is it just a religious tradition, a means to brainwash a person into a certain set of morals, a time to receive good advice for life? Or is it something ... more? 

These three ancient words – liturgyekklesia, and mass – have actually helped me come to understand better the answers to 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 the meaning of these ancient, yet fresh three words, I have begun to grasp what Jesus is actually inviting me and you 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 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 this Story of God during the liturgy of each mass as a practice in the school of love to remember and learn again how to join God in His good work every day of our lives

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

The Road to Emmaus by Daniel Bonnell

An invitation to you to come and walk with us together

After reading the 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.

Depending on your history or background, you may still be wondering why you're even considering this. It's OK. Whatever your story, Jesus 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 still dead after being crucified. They didn’t believe He was resurrected and they were walking away from any connection to Him. But He pursued them. And 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 meal with the risen Jesus, and then they were sent out with a faith, hope, and love like they had never known before.

We are praying that you also will 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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