Emerging Emmaus Podcast Series

Neil Urquhart March 20, 2023 1 0
Emerging Emmaus Podcast Series

Come! Emmaus, Emerge from the gloom.

Come Holy Spirit Come!


Join us for a journey of faith on Sanctuary First with a NEW podcast series discovering, faith hope and stories of grief in the Church of Scotland. Live every 2nd Wednesday at 7pm

on Facebook, on Sanctuary First & via our App. You can also Listen back on Spotify & Apple podcasts. First Episode airs Wednesday the 22nd of March 2023!

Together, Neil Urquhart, Ruth Kennedy and Steve Aisthorpe explore the stories of struggle and perseverance within the church.


Neil Urquhart reflects on the Emmaus journey and ‘Good Grief’


How do you respond to Jesus calling you a thick ‘numb-skull’ or ‘dim-wit’? Don’t be too offended, you’re in good company! This is how Jesus addresses his two friends, Emmaus bound, their dreams in tatters, torpedoed by Jesus’ cruel crucifixion.

Naturally, when we lose something, or someone, dear to us, we go home for comfort. Cleopas & Co. were in retreat having seen their team drubbed 20 – nil, buried without trace, oblivious to Jesus’ identity as he walks and talks with them. Grief, sorrow, and sadness can do that, blind us to reality and obscure the bigger picture. It’s not so much a ‘crisis of faith’ as a ‘crisis of imagination’. And this is where many of us find ourselves today, caught between death and new life; our loved ones, plans, aspirations, and life dreams sunk as we only just manage to keep our head above water. Where is Jesus in all the chaos and mystery maze? Right beside us, in fact closer than that. But can we let our pride be undermined and imaginations stretched to let Jesus sow hope in our souls?

Sonia was grief-stricken and ready to tell God ‘What for!’ Life was hellish, with little hope of improvement, but as she prepared to let fly with two barrel blasts, she was calmed by Jesus’ presence and helped to see a bigger picture. This spawned gratitude and the ability to find positive steps forward. She left that moment and space a different person.

How slow these two ‘numb-nuts’ were to see Jesus with them, but at home, reaching for more ‘comfort food’ they recognised Jesus in breaking bread. And no sooner did the truth dawn, than Jesus disappeared. Jesus had taken them through their ancient Scriptures to show that Jesus’ death and resurrection are foundation for the New Kingdom of Life & Love. Having trudged 7 hopeless miles home they sped 7 short miles back to Jerusalem, their outlook transformed and reframed.

Lament & Grief are appropriate in the face of loss. The pain of teachers, nurses, doctors, railway workers, church ministers & congregations (et al) is all too real. The emerging Emmaus story offers us a journey and framework of comfort, courage, and creativity. It points to ‘Jesus alongside us’ in our short-sightedness.

Starting this Wednesday Sanctuary First encourages this re-framing of our own stories with a biweekly podcast ‘Emerging Emmaus’ in which Steve Aisthorpe, Ruth Kennedy & myself (Neil Urquhart) discuss with people from across Scotland, UK & World, allowing Jesus to renew our vision & vigour for His New Life.

Emerging Emmaus

Good Grief, Our Dream is Dead! Going home instead, Comfort of my own bed,

Good Grief, The Pain! Hope hard to sustain, Love down the drain,

Good Grief, Where’ve you been? What we’ve seen, Blown to smithereens,

Good Grief, How our hearts burned! Our minds turned, All we learned,

Good Grief, Don’t go away! Come in to stay, You’ve shown The Way,

Good Grief, How he broke the bread! With hands that bled, Then disappeared,

Good Grief, Jesus Alive! No need to strive, Chance to thrive, Jesus Alive!

Good Grief, No time to waste, Now we have a taste, To Jerusalem with haste,

A ‘well kent’ Lament Echoes through the years, How Long!? How long!?

Good, as is, the grief process, May it be a means to access visions and dreams of Christ’s Kingdom Come! Come Holy Spirit Come!