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
This 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!