In the Luke story, the two men, knowing they have seen the Messiah, the risen Lord, are eager to tell others and be a witness and storyteller of the good news of hope and new life. They move back into their world where Luke tells us they will be terrified and confused again, but Jesus will come again, offering peace. He will share wounds, not hide or deny them, so that healing and faith are increased. He will reorient them again in the midst of their disbelief in the very human act of sharing a meal together.
Every day local and global events change how we see and experience the world, and we're often left confused, uncertain, and disoriented. Every day a tragedy strikes that brings the heaviness of injustice, sorrow, and despair. We cannot take away the weight of the world's hurt, but as small-group leaders, we can gather our group together if they feel scattered and lost in the midst of tragic events. We can invite them to share in ways that move them toward healing, and bring them to the Communion table where the miracle of the Cross offers hope. The world hurts everywhere. Small groups can be a place where we're reminded that Jesus is with us, and he deeply cares.
—Jen Oyama Murphy is a former small groups and support & recovery ministry director and is passionate about the substance of stories.