Revd Sara’s Reflection Sunday 9th July 2023
THE author Fay Rowland has produced a book of labyrinth illustrations designed to be “walked” with a finger, colouring pens, or pencils, while the reader reflects on the accompanying reading.
She writes that labyrinths “have been a treasured part of Christian spirituality for centuries. The famous Celtic knot designs are a type of labyrinth. A labyrinth is a journey; a long, winding, and often unexpected path. In this, it resembles life with its sudden reversals and inexplicable detours.
“We can think we are close to our goal only to be turned away. Diversion heaps upon diversion. Then, when we have almost given up hope, the destination opens up before us. We have arrived! Our journey was not the way we’d have planned, and certainly not by the most direct route, but perhaps we’ve learned something along the way. Perhaps that was the point.”
Extracts are adapted from 40 Days With Labyrinths: Spiritual reflections with labyrinths to ‘walk’, colour or decorate by Fay Rowland, published by DLT.
“That same day, two of Jesus’s followers were going to a town named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking about everything that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and began walking with them, but they were kept from recognising him. They came near the town of Emmaus, and Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they begged him, ‘Stay with us, because it is late; it is almost night.’ So, he went in to stay with them” (Luke 24.13-16, 28-29 NIV).
It is the evening of the first Easter Day. After the trauma of Good Friday, the tortuous waiting of Saturday, and the bewildering news of Sunday morning, two disciples are walking home, trying to make sense of it all. And Jesus comes and walks with them. This reminds me of the story in Genesis (see “In the cool of the day”) where God wants to walk with the people in the garden, but they hide. Now, with restoration freely offered to all, God in Jesus walks with his children in the cool of the day.
They walk and talk until they are almost at the town, and the disciples don’t want this soothing stranger to leave. “Stay with us, they beg, and he does. As Jesus breaks bread that evening, something clears in their minds, and they recognise him. Perhaps they remembered the Last Supper. Perhaps they were part of the crowd fed with five loaves and two fish. Perhaps it just needed time to sink in.
I love how patient Jesus was with these confused followers of his. Did he tell them off because their theology was not correct? Did he say they should come back when they could explain the Trinity? No. Jesus walked alongside them and hoped that they’d invite him to stay.
A faith that does not stand up to scrutiny is little better than superstition — but what really matters is walking with Jesus and inviting him to stay.
love and prayers Revd Sara