Sunday, 26th April

Third Sunday of Easter: Road to Emmaus.       26th April 2020

 

Greeting

The Lord be with you,

Let heaven and earth rejoice. Alleluia!

 

In the beginning

before time, before people,

before the world began,

God was.

Here and now

among us, beside us,

enlisting the peoples of the earth

for the purposes of heaven,

God is.

In the future,

when all have turned to dust

and all we know has found its fulfilment,

God will be.

Not denying the world, but delighting in it,

not condemning the world, but redeeming it,

through Jesus Christ,

by the power of the Holy Spirit,

God was,

God is,

God will be.

 

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen.

 

Prayers of Penitence

Like Mary at the empty tomb,

we fail to grasp the wonder of your presence.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Like the disciples behind locked doors,

we are afraid to be seen as your followers.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Like Thomas in the upper room,

we are slow to believe.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Receiving God’s Forgiveness

May the God of love and power forgive us and free us from our sins,

heal and strengthen us by his Spirit, and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Collect for the Second Sunday of Easter

Living God, your Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: open the eyes of our faith, that we may see him in all his redeeming work; who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Reading: Luke 24:13-35

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?” They replied, “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.

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.

 

Thought for the Week: Brian Brobyn

The Emmaus Road: a road that reveals Jesus’ companionship, conversation, challenge to believe, and renewal of hope to all those who follow Him. Two of the disciples of Jesus, discouraged and frustrated, begin to travel to Emmaus, their home. As they walked, they talked of the events of the week, and then Jesus came along side of them.

For whatever reasons their eyes were kept from recognizing this third person as Jesus, the Risen Lord. Perhaps they were so preoccupied with their own disappointments and problems. The important point is not that they did not recognize Jesus, but Jesus recognized them as His own.

His coming to them and walking along side of them illustrates the truth that Jesus promises, “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20) The road to Emmaus is a road of companionship that indicates Jesus’ desire to walk with each of us. It further illustrates that Jesus is with us even when we do not recognize Him!

It is also significant that when the two disciples in Emmaus recognize the Lord, he vanishes from their sight. When they recognize him, they no longer see him. They must understand and live by the power of the presence of Jesus, not through physical eyes and tangible experiences, but through the eyes of faith, the proclamation of the gospel, and continued faithfulness to the mission of Jesus in the world. Jesus is the greatest empathic listener. He is able to listen to our hurts and discouragements with the ability to enter into our pain. These two had no idea they were talking to the One who had been crucified and raised. The One who would turn their pain and sorrow into joy.

Do we? Do we know that Jesus desires to converse with us through the means of prayer? Like these two we can tell Him whatever is on our hearts and minds. He wants to listen and talk with us.

Jesus challenges our belief. We cannot live without faith. Jesus told the two on the Emmaus road that they were foolish for not believing the prophets. Would He say that to us today? How slow are we to believe?

We know the truth that He is risen, and one day will return to earth. Do we believe? Do we live like we believe? The Scriptures communicate the spiritual truths we need to know, and Jesus exhorts us to believe and to live out that belief.

When arriving back in Jerusalem they found the eleven together and with great zeal in their renewed hope they said this … “THE LORD IS RISEN!” Let us, as the new disciples of Jesus, declare the same – THE LORD IS RISEN – HE IS RISEN INDEED, ALLELUIA. AMEN

 

Prayers and Intercessions

Let us pray to the Lord, who is our refuge and stronghold.

For the health and well-being of our nation, that all who are fearful and anxious may be at peace and free from worry:

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For the isolated and housebound, that we may be alert to their needs, and care for them in their vulnerability:

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For our homes and families, our schools and young people, and all in any kind of need or distress:

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us

For a blessing on our local community, that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship, where all are known and cared for:

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

 

Have a time of open prayer, offering your own prayers for your life, and the lives of others close to you and around the world. You might like to listen to a hymn or worship song during this time, as you enjoy God’s presence and peace.

 

Rejoicing in God’s new creation, as our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

 

Lord, set your blessing on us

as we begin this day together.

Confirm in us the truth

by which we rightly live;

confront us with the truth

from which we wrongly turn.

 

We ask not for what we want

but for what you know we need,

as we offer this day and ourselves

for you and to you

through Jesus Christ, our Saviour

Amen

Let us bless the risen Lord,

Thanks be to God. Alleluia!