Living God,
long ago, faithful women
proclaimed the good news
of Jesus’ resurrection,
and the world was changed forever.
Teach us to keep faith with them,
that our witness may be as bold,
our love as deep,
and our faith as true. Amen.

Readings for the Third Sunday of Easter may be found here

emmausThis week’s setting — on the road to Emmaus — is apropos for me, because I feel like I’ve been on the road a great deal lately, literally and figuratively. We all know this story, Jesus meeting two followers on the road and becoming known to them only when he takes the bread, blesses and breaks it. On one level this feels almost too easy (we meet Jesus in the Eucharist); on another it is deep and profound to consider all the ways God is traveling with us often without our conscious awareness. Like all the Eastertide texts, the biggest challenge is finding fresh ways to preach readings (however profound) that we hear at the same time every year. Both David Lose and Richard Swanson over at WorkingPreacher focus on the words, “But we had hoped….” It’s not a perspective I would have picked up on, I think, but it does provide rich food for thought when pondering this text. I am also drawn by how, when I put the text in a word cloud, it clearly emphasizes movment: going and coming. How do we encounter Jesus in our various goings an comings?

The other readings continue our Eastertide journey through Acts and the first letter of Peter. In Acts we hear the beginning and the end of Peter’s Pentecost sermon, and them the audience’s reaction to it. It’s striking to me that the audience was “cut to the heart” and asked what they should do; the result was the baptism of 3000 persons — rather mind boggling when you think about it. What Peter says is simple and straightforward; if we just preached what Peter said, do you think we’d get those results? How DO we touch people’s hearts?  A lot to ponder here, too.

In 1 Peter we find Peter working out Christology — what the Christ event means and its implications for believers. I rarely preach on texts like this, but it might be an interesting exercise to work through this in light of what we proclaim in the creeds, and how we understand what Jesus REALLY means for us.

Do you know where you are headed preachers? Are you traveling the road to Emmaus or are the texts calling you elsewhere? Join the conversation and let us know.

Sorry for the late posting; I was literally on the road yesterday!

 

 

13 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary~~On the road again edition

  1. I am doing the Emmaus Road scripture. Not super sure which direction I am going in, but we are also celebrating May the 4th so I might talk about how Jesus appeared differently to them post-resurrection and how it would be helpful if he had some theme music (cue my son playing the first few measures of the Imperial March from Star Wars). When we hear theme music, we know who is about to make an entrance, whether to be happy or scared, etc. I am so tempted to make this all about communion, but I did that last time around so I think I need to rethink how Jesus’ appearance had changed or their impressions of him had changed.

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    1. I like that theme music idea too…how much easier it would be if, like Peter and the Wolf, people in the bible came with a tune to clue us in! That could be a fun exercise for the right group: to select music to go with different folks. How would Paul sound different from the woman at the well, or Noah from Thomas? Alright, off on a tangent there, but you’ve given me something to think about!

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  2. There are two lines that have caught my attention in this week’s lessons. The first, familiar, about their eyes being opened. The other, from the psalm, is “You have loosed my bonds.” I want to explore from what bonds we may need to be set free, as individuals and church and world, and to what glories our eyes may be opened. I think I am going to refer to Desmond Tutu’s Forgiveness Challenge, suggesting it as an Easter discipline of moving into new life as one way of loosening bonds and opening eyes.

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  3. I am struck by the “our hearts burned within us” part but I don’t know what to do with that. Also about the idea of walking. We mostly only do it for exercise anymore and who do we meet when we’re walking with such purpose? Might become a starting point to talk about prayer walking.

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  4. I’m looking at encounters in the darkness. Reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s new book “Learning to Walk in the Dark” and drawing together other encounters in the dark. I love this story but today I found myself wishing that Jesus had made more of an effort to understand those two dejected disciples. It occurs to me that those two disciples were not the only clueless ones on the road that night.

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  5. Using the text more as a metaphor of leaving. (My last Sunday at this church is May 18th). The tendency is to just stop in the middle of the road. Wait for the next pastor. The disciples were first running away…then remembered…and turned and went back. Something along the lines of remember…you are never alone. Your pastor may be leaving but God is most definitely not leaving.

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  6. So far I’ve given the sermon a title ” I can see clearly now”
    But TBH all I can think about is my friend, whose funeral I will take on Monday. And the story I learned of this week how she met her husband of 45 years. He described it as cataclysmic… “Angels sang, lights went on and I looked at her and said, we’d better get married then,” this was the 4th time they’d met, and it wasn’t even a date!

    I looked back to see if I could find a sustainable sermon, but none of them felt right..
    Today I am interring the ashes of another woman who died too young.
    And I am just weary…. Weary, weary….

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  7. Looking at all the references to heart in the three readings – “when they heard this they were cut to the heart,” (Acts 2) “love one another deeply from the heart”(1Peter 1), “how foolish you are and how slow of heart”, and “were not our hearts burning within us” (Luke 24) I have to preach from the heart about recognizing Jesus and not from the mind or from what we see. Still ruminating.

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  8. African Bible says, “Jesus still walks with his people” and how this is the story of all who meet Christ along the way and come to recognize him despite the paradox of his hiddenness and mysterious presence at the heart of the Gospel.

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