Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Road to Emmaus: Luke 24:13-49, Easter 3B

The Road to Emmaus
Luke 24:13-49
We are so familiar with this story and if you have been on a walk to Emmaus it is poignant for you. Don’t you just love it two people walking along, talking and Jesus shows up in the midst of them, only they don’t know or seem to recognize him.
He acts like he doesn’t know anything and ask them Columbo like questions. They are grief stricken and are irritated by his questions, but they answer him anyway. They tell him the recent events, but conclude with telling Jesus that the body was taken. So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Is what the Message has Jesus saying to them. This doesn’t waken them to who he is. He has supper with them. It is in the breaking and blessing of the bread that they recognize who he is. Then he is gone. Their words are then; "Didn't we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?" The scripture goes on to show another time Jesus appears to them and shares a meal with them.

Then he said, "Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: All the things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms have to be fulfilled."
45-49He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way. He said, "You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem! You're the first to hear and see it. You're the witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you're equipped with power from on high."
So what does all this mean for you and me? For our congregations? Where have we experienced Jesus and did not recognize him? Where have we had our hearts burning when we met Jesus? In the breaking of the bread? A meal shared? In times of fellowship with someone? Conversation? When have we been slow-hearted and thick-headed? Have we not believed?
Isn’t it interesting that even though these early disciples were slow-hearted and thick-headed, he still chose them to be his witnesses. It is the same today. You would think Jesus would have chosen another group by now, but no he still is about using you and me even with our weakness and strengths to be his witnesses.
Check out Barbara Brown Taylor's sermon on this text, "Hands and Feet," from her collection, Home by Another Way. She points out how Jesus draws their attention to his hands and feet. She points how the hands and feet of Jesus had been important in his ministry, healing people, breaking bread, traveling around with the good news: "They were wounded now--all of them--the hands that had joined him to other people and the feet that had joined him to the earth. They had holes in them, sore angry-looking bruises that hurt them to look at, only it was important for the disciples to look, because they had never done it before....He wanted them to know he had gone through the danger and not around it." Taylor says, goes on to say: "When that world looks around for the risen Christ, when they want to know what that means, it is us they look at. Not our pretty faces and not our sincere eyes but our hands and feet--what we have done with them and where we have gone with them"
In an Easter sermon at Trinity Church in Boston, the Rev. Pamela L. Foster, discusses what it means to be Easter people: “Mr. Paul Rusesabagina, is the former manager of Hotel Rwanda. In the midst of the Rwanda genocide, Mr. Rusesabagina, with great risk to himself, was able to convince Hutu authorities to leave unharmed for longer than anyone would have imagined possible the Tutsi people who had taken refuge in the hotel. This shaky agreement made possible some safe passage convoys that otherwise never would have occurred. In a recent interview, Rusesabagina was asked how he had been able to convince the authorities to grant that precarious asylum. In his reply, he spoke the following sentence: ‘Even the hardest heart has a part that is soft.’ He is one man. We Easter people are many.” See the movie Hotel Rwanda

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