Love is alive and never ends!
‘He lives’, by Chris McClarney. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
Let us pray.
God of Wonder and of unexpected delight, as we celebrate Christ’s risen presence among us today we pray that you would open to us the scripture’s message.
Talk to us as we journey along life’s way, meet us as we share with others, and so move in us that we may claim all your promises as our own. Open our eyes and open our hearts, we ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen
Risen Lord Jesus, what is it that keeps us from recognising you? When we are so full of ourselves, it is all too easy to block you right out of our lives. Maybe it’s the way we interpret Scripture that obscures the signs pointing to you. Perhaps we are guilty of being slow of heart when we don’t recognise you in our neighbour, or in the guise of the poor or the dispossessed.
Our eyes and ears have become so crammed with the sights and sounds of living that we simply fail to see you or to recognise your voice. Yet you are still with us. You are always with us, and speak to us through scripture and the world around us.
From the Bible
The Bible reading for today is from Luke 24:13-35 and is commonly called, ‘The walk to Emmaus’. There is also a video of a dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading underneath.
On the road to Emmaus
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?”
Jesus listens and then interprets the scriptures
“The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.”
Then he said to them,
“Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
They share communion and Jesus is recognised
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”
That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Dramatic readings from Lumo
Here is the dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading by the Lumo group (it includes some extra bits, including the burial of Jesus and more resurrection appearances). If you have trouble connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
The message is brought to you by Bill Loader, compliments of Project Reconnect. Bill explains how love is alive and never ends. He also talks to us about the ‘incognito Jesus’ – that Jesus is present always, even when we cannot recognise him.
What caught your interest in this presentation? Reflect on any experiences you have had where Jesus was present, but you did not recognise it at the time.
Before a time of prayer you may like to spend some time in silence sitting still. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Simply be still and open to God. You may prefer to do this while listening to the ‘Optional reflective music’ below.
Optional reflective music
The reflective music is, ‘Here in this place’, by Christopher Grundy. If you have problems connecting, also try this link at YouTube:
Go out into the world, to love and serve the Lord. Bless us and the people we meet along the way. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
‘We will remember’, sung by Trinity Baptist Church, Amarillo (Texas). If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
‘For love of country’, by South Australia Public Primary Schools Choir. A lovely Anzac tribute created during Covid lockdowns three years ago. If you have trouble connecting go directly to Youtube at:
Messy Easter at home activities
See link below for a PDF sheet with links to all sorts of Easter Activities that you can do at home, including YouTube video of ‘Dave the Donkey’, how to create an Easter garden, seed planting, making easter butterflies and an ‘Easter egg surprise’, and other things to do.
Our speaker for today, Bill Loader, is a retired UCA minister and Professor of New Testament. He taught for 40 years in the Perth Theological Hall and at Murdoch University, and has written many books on the gospels, sexual issues, and early Judaism. He also has a website with a wide range of resources from children’s stories to weekly commentaries on the Lectionary.
Bill’s site is at billloader.com
This sermon was found at Project Reconnect: https://projectreconnect.com.au/2023/03/13/23rd-april-2023-year-a-easter-3-on-the-road-to-emmaus