Weekly Church Service – Third Sunday of Easter: 26 April 2020


Sentence

Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.                                                        Acts 2:38-39                                                                                                                                                                                           


Collect

O God,

your Son made himself know to his disciples

in the breaking of bread:

open the eyes of our faith,

that we may see him in his redeeming work;

who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy

Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

Readings

  • Acts 2:14a, 36-41
  • Psalm 116:1-4, 11-18
  • 1 Peter 1:13-25
  • Luke 24:13-35

next week

  • Acts 2:42-47
  • Psalm 23
  • 1 Peter 2:1-10
  • John 10:1-10

A Thought to Ponder

Easter 3 Luke 24:13-35

Jesus meets the two disciples on the road to Emmaus:  “While he was sitting with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them.  With that their eyes were opened and the recognized him . . . ”

Today’s Gospel begins on the afternoon of that miraculous Easter Sunday.  Having just completed the observance of the Passover Sabbath, two disciples of Jesus (one identified as Cleopas) are making the seven-mile trip to the village of Emmaus.  By identifying them as disciples, Luke is emphasising that these two were more than just impartial observers of the events of Holy Week.

Luke writes that their exchange was “lively” – we can well imagine!  As well as anger at the great travesty of justice that had taken place, they must have felt emotionally shattered at what had befallen their revered Rabbi Jesus.  The two are suddenly joined by a stranger who asks the subject of their “lively” conversation.  The stranger then explains, to their astonishment, the meaning of each of the events of the past week.  When they reach the village, the two disciples ask the stranger to stay with them.  And, in the words from Luke’s Gospel that we have come to treasure, the two disciples “come to know (the Risen Christ) in the breaking of the bread.”

Luke’s Easter night story parallels our own experience of the Eucharist: We come to the Lord’s table feeling angry, hurt, despairing, alone – but at this table, coming to “know him in the breaking of the bread,” we can experience the peace and presence of the Risen Christ.

It has been said that true friendship begins when people share a memory.  Like the two disciples who recognise Jesus in the breaking of bread, we, too, are bound as a Church by the same memory of the Risen One.  In the word we hear together and the bread we share together, God’s love is both remembered and relived, giving us hope and direction and meaning in the course of our individual journeys.

As the two disciples discover on their journey to Emmaus, Christ is alive and present in our midst in the love, charity and goodness we give and receive, in the sacrament of his body and blood, in moments of grace and prayer.

Like the disciples journeying to Emmaus, we are disciples are on a journey, a journey reaches its zenith in the great Paschal journey from crucifixion to resurrection.  As the disciples traveling to Emmaus discover, the journey is not ended.  It continues through the wilderness and is marked by the cross.  But God is still very much present to us along the way.

God travels with us on our own roads to Emmaus; God is present in the broken bread of compassion and healing we offer and receive from our fellow travellers. Easter faith is to recognise God in our midst: in our wanting to understand, in our struggle to make things right, in our brokenness.  May this Easter season open our hearts and spirits to recognise Christ among us in every moment of our lives, in both the bright promising mornings and the dark, terrifying nights.  

© Connections/MediaWorks

Sermon

  •     Easter 3

You can read the Pew Sheet here

Easter-3-A

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