They must have thought their “church” was dead. Its founder was gone, its members were scattering. It’s easy to imagine that they figured there was nothing left to do but give up.
But then something happened. As two members of the “church” were walking away, leaving Jerusalem after the crucifixion of Jesus, and heading to the nearby town of Emmaus, they had a change of heart. Jesus appeared to them and explained that all of the events they had recently witnessed—the betrayal of Jesus by one of his followers, his arrest, trial, and crucifixion—were not a contradiction of his teachings, but a fulfillment of prophecy. He was not dead, but risen. Resurrected and very much alive.
That’s when those two disciples felt something stir inside of them. They returned to Jerusalem and recommitted themselves to church. After that, the Bible says, they “were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God” (Luke 24:53). Before long, their church was booming.