(5-3-21) The Congregation of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ – Rockford welcomed Reverend Doug Meyer to the pulpit on Sunday, April 25, 2021. His message, titled, “7 Words and an invitation that changed the World”) was a continuing lesson for the Easter season covering 50 days from Easter to Pentecost. Doug read those 7 words that changed the world forever “He has risen! He is not here.” The disciples were in hiding. Pastor Doug then added three more based on Luke 24:13-35.

On the Road to Emmaus

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

According to this scripture, two of the disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus, when Jesus joined them but they did not see who he was. He asked them what they were talking about, and the two disciples showed great surprise that the traveler didn’t know about the events in Jerusalem – about Jesus being crucified. The disciples explained that they head of the resurrection, but they thought Jesus was coming to overthrow Roman oppression. They still did not understand that the Messiah would conquer death, a bigger enemy than Rome. Jesus made to move along on the road.

Jesus never presses himself on anyone. Pastor Doug said Jesus will never turn away when invited into our lives. The
three words offered to the stranger were: “Stay with us.” Jesus accepted the invitation. Later that evening, the disciples
watched him break bread, and suddenly he was revealed to them. They went out and spread the news. Pastor Doug
shared personal testimony that changed his life concerning this very scripture. He said, “ I invited Jesus to come and stay with me day after day. He did. He lifted a burden off me and showed me what to do to get back into life. If you’re
gripped in fear or worry, extend Jesus the invitation. You will never be the same.”

Reverend Doug Meyer will be back in the pulpit on Sunday, May 9, 2021. His sermon title for Mother’s Day is “They Call
Her Blessed”. He will also be sharing a Children’s Moment. He is the retired minister from St. John’s Lutheran Church in
Celina serving over 50 years in the ministry of God.

Social distancing and other rules are being followed to keep everyone safe. The community is invited to worship with us!

Alex Knous, former mission worker, and member of the New Life Christian Center will preach on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
Sermon title – Time to Turn Around.