Disappointment, doubt, disillusionment, defeat, discouragement, and despair—All these words sum up how Cleopas and his companion were feeling as they trudged up the road toward Emmaus. They had left the downhearted and confused band of disciples who were afraid and bewildered over what had happened to Jesus on Good Friday. The two men, as they travelled along were also saddened and downhearted.

The One they had loved and followed had been horribly put to death – a cruel and degrading death on a cross. Jesus had been made a public spectacle, exposed to the jeers of all who passed by. Only a week before, their hopes and dreams had risen to fever pitch when the excited crowds welcomed their Master waving palm branches and shouting ‘hosanna’. But now Jesus was gone—Their hopes were dashed; the dream was over! Even the report of the women that Christ’s tomb was empty didn’t raise their spirits; it only confused them even more. The two despondent disciples walking the road to Emmaus summed up the situation very neatly when they said, “We had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free!”

Human hope is a fragile thing, and when it withers, it’s often very difficult to revive. As the two men walked along, a stranger joined them—This was going to be the most significant walk of their whole lives—The stranger began asking them what they were discussing. So, they poured out their hearts to someone who seemed willing to listen. They shared with this stranger all about their hopes and their disappointments—The last thing they needed was a brisk “pep talk” or being told to “just get over it”. He simply provides a willing ear. Who is this stranger?—We know that this stranger is Jesus.

Isn’t this a great picture – Jesus walking along the road with his despondent and confused disciples sharing their troubles? Suddenly this 2,000-year-old story is brought into the present. When disappointment, doubt, disillusionment, defeat, discouragement, despondency, depression, and despair fill our lives, Jesus is the unseen “stranger” walking alongside us, listening to us, and if we are willing to hear his voice, revealing himself to us—everything changes! Join us this week at Sedona United Methodist Church as the Rev. Fred Mast shares a message entitled “When We Meet Jesus”. Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 am featuring uplifting music, special times of prayer and passionate life changing messages designed to move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ and others. Immediately following worship, you are encouraged and invited to stay and join us in our Fellowship Hall for the friendliest and best fellowship time anywhere featuring delicious snacks and great coffee and always friendship.

On Saturday morning April 7th the men of the Verde Valley are invited to join together for a delicious SUMC Men’s Breakfast at 8:15 a.m. at The Golden Goose Restaurant in West Sedona. Our featured speaker will be Sedona’s Chief of Police David McGill who will share with us the experiences of overseeing and building a great team. Bring a canned food item for the Food Bank! All men are welcomed, encouraged and invited to attend and come and make a new friendship.

On Saturday, April 14th and again on Sunday, April 15th our beautiful sanctuary will be filled with celestial sound! SUMC is hosting the Third Annual Piano on the Rocks International Festival for two concerts with the theme “The Divine – Myths, Magic and Mysteries through Music and Literature. Tickets for both events will be available at the door and more information can be found at www.pianoontherocks.org. You are encouraged to attend both performances, as the program is different each afternoon. Both performances begin at 3:00 PM, and will last until 5:00 PM. Don’t miss a moment of this extraordinary music.

We offer a number of book and bible studies: Tuesday “Neighborhood Studies” at 2PM, Wednesday’s our Men’s Bible Study at 9am; and Thursday’s our Women’s Bible Study at 9:45am. So many great missions, ministries and events happening at Sedona UMC—Visit our website at us on www.sedonaumc.org and “Like” us on Facebook. We would love to pray for you!—Prayer requests may be submitted online or by calling us at 928-282-1780. We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona. Come and grow with us!