What's In A Name?
A little over thirty-five years ago a group of visionary people with a passion for Christ and His life-changing Word started a new mission for the kingdom of God, and DeWitt Lutheran Fellowship was born. It was a bold step of faith that came with determination, conviction and commitment with a little bit of uncertainty mixed in. There have been many joys and more than a few struggles along the way, but through it all the Lord has richly blessed us well beyond what we deserve. Today, we are looking toward the future with a New Vision and a New Name, Emmaus Road Church.
The generations of today are facing new challenges, challenges that our founders could not see thirty years ago. But, we do see them today, and we have been praying that the Lord would show us what He wants us to become in order to minister to today’s generations and those that will follow? Yes, that’s right, we asked God to change us for His purpose, and He has answered by calling our attention to an event that happened almost 2,000 years ago. It happened on the road from Jerusalem to a little town called Emmaus the same day that Jesus rose from the dead.
In Luke 24:13-35 we read about two of Jesus’ disciples, who had left Jerusalem and were on their way to Emmaus. They were sad and dejected, which is not hard to understand. They believed Jesus would be the “one to redeem Israel,” but He was executed like a common criminal on a cross. Jesus had told His disciples a number of times that He was going to be put to death, and then He would rise again. Even, the night before He went to the cross Jesus said again, “After I am raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” (Matthew 26:31, 32). Somehow these two disciples missed it, because instead of going to Galilee, they were on the wrong road, going the wrong direction. So, Jesus went out on the Emmaus Road to call them back to Himself. Without letting them know who He was, He used the Scriptures to reveal that it was necessary for the Christ to die - and rise again. It was all part of God’s plan of salvation for them, and for us. After they arrived at Emmaus and sitting down for a meal, they finally realized as He broke bread and gave thanks: He is Jesus; He is risen! Jesus then disappeared, and they left immediately to return to Jerusalem. Now they were going the right direction, on the right road - to Jesus.
This is our vision, that Jesus will change us into messengers for His kingdom, that He will send us out on the road of life, and that He will make us part of His plan of salvation for other people. We call it Walking with Christ in His Mission. Our vision is that what Jesus did on the Emmaus Road as He walked along with two sad, confused disciples will become part of who we are, our identity. We want to build relationships with other people and tell Jesus' story again and again and tell our own stories of how he came to us, when we were on the wrong road, revealed Himself and gave us the faith to believe in Him.