The Emmaus story is among some of the most remarkable Bible stories that our families read. It describes significant faith steps along the road, in the daily rhythms and habits. Jesus walks along side those who had just witnessed the events of Good Friday and they experience the mystery and the miracle. Seriously, Cleopas and his traveling companion should have recognized Jesus. After all, they had been to “church”. They had heard his stories. To be honest, they had just not prepared themselves to receive the faith and they had lost hope.
So, unbeknown, to them they traveled with Jesus along the road and shared conversation, just days following the resurrection. The two people were beginning to loose hope that Jesus was alive and among them. But, quite unexpectedly, while on their journey, they did encounter the Risen Christ, even though they did not recognize him at first. It was a miracle-in-the-moment. It was at that point in time, in a small sacred space along the road…in a home in their daily rhythms where they shared a meal. That encounter led to big faith.
Again, understand that this Jesus sighting was uncovered through casual conversation among the three of them as they stopped to have a meal along the road. It was in a small house around the table while sharing a daily routine of breaking bread and having a meal, that the men recognized Jesus. Specifically, when Jesus broke the bread, they recognized Him and their faith was restored.
Faith can be formed and will grow through our everyday habits as we engage with each other. All we need is to create the intentional space, in the middle of our daily rhythms and habits as we recognize opportunities to become rooted in God’s love and share his love with our families. Growing faith at home isn’t about doing more; it’s about inviting Christ into what we are already doing.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time.” Ephesians 5:15, 16a (ESV)
Read the story from Luke 24:13-35 from a Bible or a Children’s Bible Storybook and/or watch the youtube video any time that works for you. Tell the story in the car on the way to school and talk later in the day.
Cultivate Faith Talk (Preschool-Early Elementary)
- I wonder if Jesus was smiling while listening to the Disciples talk? He loved them so very much. He loves you very much.
- I wonder, what do you think Jesus said to them when he first saw them?
- I wonder what would you do and say if Jesus came to your house for dinner?
- Taste and notice how sweet your bread tastes.
- I wonder what you don’t want to forget from this story?
Cultivate Faith Talk (Elementary and Older)
- What have you hoped for in the past? When you hope for something, do you try to look for signs that what you hope for will come true and talk about it a lot? Ummm, Cleopas seemed to do that when he kept talking about how some women left him stunned when they talked about the empty tomb and he had hoped that Jesus was the one who would save Israel.
- I wonder if God is walking beside me today?
- When in the car, picture in your mind that Jesus is in the back seat. How would your conversations be different with Him so very close?
- I wonder if you will think about this story the next time you have communion in your church?
Faith-On-The-Go This Week-Let’s Notice and Experience (All Ages):
- Serve bread with your family meals this week. Ask each person how “breaking the bread” is significant in the story.
- When you have communion at church, have all family members participate. Talk about how this is related to the story and the Last Supper.
- Take the opportunity when your child is playing with dinner play sets, and talk about the story. Children can set the table for dinner time. Mention the Last Supper.
- When you see your child playing with Legos or Duplo blocks, talk with them about building a table, have 3 Lego people sitting on a block for the floor. They can put two small blocks together representing bread. Break them apart as if breaking the bread in the story. Ask, “I wonder what facial expresssions the two travelers had on their faces when they recognized Jesus as he broke the bread?” Let’s make some faces.
- While walking in the yard or down the road, take this opportunity to share stories of the events during day. Is the ground rocky or grassy? Notice sticks, or special rocks. I wonder if Jesus picked up a stick along the way? Collect a few sticks or rocks on your walk to place in your room to remind you of the resurrection.
- I wonder what question you would ask Jesus if you met him in your yard?
- When traveling in the car, picture in your mind, Jesus in the back seat. How would your conversations be different knowning that He is so very close? Talk about how Jesus cares about us and our daily conversations and routines.
- How do you know that Jesus is with you, even during your school day or work day?
Music-On-The-Go for All Ages:
Great songs before a Morning Blessing or any time would be “Open the Eyes of My Heart” or “I Want to Live Like That”. Sometime this week, just burst out singing one of the songs or play the song while fixing dinner or on the way to a Track Meet, and talk about what the words to these songs mean to each member of the family and how it relates to the story. One family member a day can choose the song they want and when to play it.
When waking your childen, turn on a dim light, and place your hand on their shoulder to awaken them and say all or any part of the following:
Good morning ____ and Good morning God. Thank you so much for the good rest. I’m happy you’re with me. Thank you for our food, for our home, and for our family.
As your children are leaving for school, give them a hug and say:
God is there for you all day. He’s before you beside you and in front of you all day with each step you take. He loves you! I love you!
Here’s an example: At bedtime, place your hand on your child’s shoulder and say,
“May the God of hope Fill you with all joy and peace As you trust in Him. So That you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
God give you good rest and keep you growing stronger, wiser, kinder and ready to serve, Always knowing how much you are loved.
This one is my favorite Musical Blessing:
Video for Children:
For Adults and Youth:
- Try the Optical Illusion below. I wonder how long it took to see the picture?
Do you take time to focus on Jesus at home, work and play? Do you think it is difficult to “tune-in” or “focus-in on Jesus when you are busy? Try this optical illusion. Do you need the instructions?
Most importantly for family faith time, just prepare your hearts…get ready for a moment, in your schedule in the middle of your routines and habits, the mess and the chaos to share and grow faith with your family. Begin with small steps and give your children Blessings before bed. Be the seed and plant God’s Word as Jesus steps into your lives daily as your faith forming guide while sitting at home, walking along the road, when lying down and when getting up with your loved ones. Look closely! Recognize your daily rhythms that can point you to opportunities for faith formation and to grow your relationship with God and relationships with each other!