Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
0 ratings


Acts - leaves out so much, Peter launches into an apologetical speech and 3000 people get baptized
What was left out: prophesy from Joel (read it later)
Revised Common Lectionary 4-23-2023: Third Sunday of Easter

22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23 You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.

Appearance right after resurrection (the same day)
They think of him as a prophet “to redeem Israel” - did not believe women about what they saw tith the angels perhaps?
Jesus explains everything and yet they do not recognize him
They do have good manners and want the stranger to be safe - Jesus taught them well
They recognized him when he broke bread - last supper - communion
Went back to Jerusalem and tell everybody
Good morning,
And as it can be seen in the text, we are still in Easter! Today we have a different post-resurrection appearance account, this time from Luke - again, very shortly after Luke’s resurrection scene, where the women were the messengers to the rest of the lot. And it seems like it did not quite click for the apostles just yet. Two of the disciples were traveling, Cleopas and Simon, to a village called Emmaus and they are discussing all the excitement of the last few days, fully understandably, of course…I know I would be! And as they were walking - lo and behold, there comes Jesus to walk with them. We know it’s him, because his words are printed red, d’uh, but they do not recognize him. Still, they remain pretty friendly with him and recount the events surrounding their master, Jesus of Nazareth, a mighty prophet in deed and word. And even when Jesus starts to explain everything and why it had to happen, they are still not recognizing him. Yikes. When they almost reached their destination, they urged him to stay with them, welcoming the stranger and thinking of his well-being. And then let’s re-read the important bit:30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Lk 24:30–31.
And then they finally realized that they bodies were reacting (hearts burning within them), but their minds were clouded for some reason. Then they got up and return to Jerusalem to tell the rest.
First of all, I am sure the text is setup for communal groans and shouts of disbelief - how could they have not? Why have they taken so long? Secondly, it is not all bad - despite their grief and confusion, they continue to be his disciples and welcome the stranger and take care of the neighbor. I am not sure they would do the same without the influence of Jesus, his witness and teachings. Looks like they are NOT backsliding into their old selves.
Thirdly, the link to communion is obvious, one that has the assembly in mind - of course that the most intimate and recognizable communion with the Lord is in the breaking of the bread! It makes a good communion text stressing the importance of breaking the bread together.
I think that opens up the text, which, at first glance, may seem a bit odd. And also one that stresses that not all is different after resurrection: disciples are still a bit slow on the intake of information, Jesus still likes to play the ultimate undercover boss and still very much likes to make a dramatic exit. Poof and he is gone again!
And perhaps the same scolding-reassurance that he gave the disciples also applies to us:

Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiahj should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?”

We have the prophecies and other means to understand Jesus and all about him better, but as fallible and often fearful humans we can be a bit slow on figuring stuff out. But that doesn’t change his attitude towards us - he still takes his time to explain and to break bread with us.
I think that is really good news - we do not have to have it all figured out right away and as long as we are open to God’s presence in the Word, in breaking of the bread, in community, and acts of mercy and love, we can work on that. Sure, we may receive a warning about our daftness, but that can only help us in the end.
I think this text shows that it is important to remain open to correction and even those that walked with Jesus in the flesh needed it…so how much more WE need it! All the more important to stress it in a world, where many people are not willing/able to consider facts and opinions that go against their views and beliefs, even when it is staring them right in their face. Some people deny racism is a real problem, even as black and brown siblings continue to be harmed for the littlest of reasons, such as mistaking an address and ringing a doorbell. Or some believe that Ukraine should have negotiated with Russia, even as Russian bombs fall on hospitals, schools, and residential buildings. Or perhaps we all know some that continue to deny that sensible gun regulations would make a difference, even as people continue to be shot in malls, schools, at parties, in churches, at hospitals…with mostly legally bought and registered guns owned by the shooter.
I think that in our faith we are called to make the painful and hard work of looking past our confirmation bias, peer pressure, and the desire to fit in and consider a viewpoint of compassion, love, and non-judgment as Jesus exemplified. The world and its bias was telling the disciples that Jesus is dead and defeated. Jesus helped them to snap out of it and encouraged them to continue on the journey they started with him - a journey of thinking bigger than the world wants them to and to see the world through His eyes, rather than only their cultural and experience determined eyes.
If you will, we can call that our baptismal eyes - in baptism and the conferring of the Holy Spirit through it, we are nudged, prodded, and roused to imagine, to dream, to believe in a better, more wholesome reality…an Easter reality, where Jesus overcame death and thus His love and justice towards all lives on and genuinely influences everything.
I understand, it can be sometime hard to see amongst the suffering, pain, and destruction we see in the world, but in the end…what is the alternative? To believe that Jesus is dead and defeated by the Roman empire and jealous religious leaders and all there is to just fight for survival as long as possible and to grab as many resources for ourselves as possible? Some live like that.
Or is it to believe in the transformative power of Easter, of a world filled with God’s mercy, love, and justice, enough for everybody? I choose the latter, even as others tell me it is a foolish and futile enterprise, lacking in proof and real outcomes. I disagree with them, but I know it is hard to change your mind without real conviction which comes from God. And once we have it, it may actually lead us to be more open to perceive the world for what it is and to listen for cries for help and shouts of need. In breaking of bread and other places of God’s love, we are awakened to the world…so let’s keep awake, but also dream of the Easter world! Amen.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more