Between Sundays for Week of April 24, 2023
f you share in worship through our livestream, we missed worshiping with you on Sunday! Our internet is out and we’re working to get it restored. We were able to record worship on April 23 and as soon as we can access it, we’ll share it through Facebook and YouTube. We hope everything will be back in order next Sunday!
Three weeks into the season of Easter, we’re still encountering the Gospel narratives describing the first sightings of the Risen Christ on Easter day! In Luke 24:13-35, it’s the evening of the first Easter morning and in a mysterious way, the risen Christ appears to two of his followers as they travel away from Jerusalem, but they don’t recognize his presence with them until after he disappears. The story begs the question: if you were to look for the presence of the Risen Christ, where would you begin searching? Where do you think you would you have the best chance of finding him?
In this story, unique to Luke’s gospel, when the resurrected Christ appears it isn’t to Peter or Thomas or one of the other named disciples, and it isn’t in one of the places of ministry that figured prominently in Jesus’ ministry. As at the story of Christ’s birth in which the good news first comes to shepherds in a field, when the the resurrected Christ appears it’s to ordinary folks in an overlooked place.
Where is Jesus? Where might we begin searching for the risen Christ? Luke’s gospel suggests the answer would be: probably in the last place you’d expect to encounter him.
If the risen Christ can appear on the road to Cleopas and his friend enroute to Emmaus – inviting them to share their stories, receiving their grief, listening to their emotion, opening for them scripture in such as way that helps them to see a bigger story – who knows where he might appear to you or me!
Thanks to be God! Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, alleluia!
The story of Easter begins in the shadows of the early morning with women headed to the tomb in Matthew’s gospel and it continues today in Luke’s gospel in the shadows of the evening. In a remarkable and mysterious story, we hear of the first appearance of the risen Christ, and wonder where we might expect to find him in our world today?
Music, art, or poetry often reveal insights into Bible stories that encourage us to explore meanings beyond the words on the page. The story of Jesus on the road to Emmaus, which is found only in Luke 24:13-35, has served as an inspiration to many artists over the centuries. Spend some time pondering Denise Levertov’s poem, The Servant Girl at Emmaus, or the painting, Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus, by Diego Velázquez, upon which the poem reflects. If music is your art of choice, listen to Egil Hovland’s anthem Stay With Us.
What insights into the Biblical text do these works of art open for you? What does it mean for you to take in works of art inspired by the story of Jesus’ resurrection.