Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Peter continues his sermon on the Day of Pentecost and encourages his hearers to believe in Jesus as Messiah, to repent and to receive God’s Spirit, and 3000 people respond.
A psalm of praise, thanksgiving and commitment in response to God’s gracious rescue.
1 Peter 1:17-23
Because God, through raising Christ from death, has led God’s people to eternal life, we should love one another.
Jesus appears to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, who invite him to stay the night with them. They share a meal and, as Jesus breaks the bread, they recognise him.
(Summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)
Insight comes to each of us in its own time, when and as we are ready to absorb it. With each fresh “Aha!” we realize that this path of discovery we are on is very old, with well-worn footsteps that now bear our imprint as well. Just like mountain climbing, it’s good to go with company but you still have to make the ascent on your own, one dogged step after another. “It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” (Rumi)
(Source: Progressive Christianity)
New Music by David MacGregor: On the Road (hearts are burning). Links to MP3 backing track, score and words
New resource: Walking to Emmaus again, by Rev Sarah Agnew and published by Wild Good publications, based on a creative engagement with the Emmaus story in a service at Pilgrim Uniting Church in 2014.
When we are travelling, God is with us.
When we are alone, God comes to us.
When we feel weak and unsure,
God offers us food for the journey.
Opening of Worship (inspired by the events in Luke 24:13-35)
Easter is not an event that has occurred
it’s an adventure that has begun
not a place that we have visited
but a path on which we stand
a story not complete, but unfolding
characters still breathing
stations still teeming
with the promise of new life
not just for you and me
but for all people, in all places
a cosmic crux
a turning point of time
Easter is the season
of wild hope
of dangerous intent
of potent promise
where the future flaps unfurled
in the spirit’s breeze
where hopes bubble
with uncorked effervescence
where toes tap
to free-form rhythms
where rainbow hues
splash empty canvas
Here and now, we continue the journey
we re-enter the story
to explore our questions
to uncover our doubts
to face our nagging need
We walk the path
of two who traveled a dusty roadwrapped in confusion and despair
two who shared the company of a stranger
voicing their pain
airing their fears
and in the listening
heard words of hope and promise
and in the eating
received true bread of life
Here and now, we re-enter the story
with expectation that Christ
will also reveal himself to us
in sights and sounds
in words and symbols
in bread and wine
Let us pray:
walk with us this day
be our companion and guide
be our teacher and friend
be our host and servant
bringing your gifts of faith, peace and hope
and deep joy
as always. Amen.
(Source: Emmaus Worship Service, with words by Craig Mitchell (2005) & Iona Community)
Too often, like those on the way to Emmaus,
we recognise the presence of the risen one in hindsight.
that mysterious transitory presence
dancing at the edge of awareness
never constant, steady, or predictable.
Perceived in fleeting moments
amid the seemingly mundane
we learn to treasure such experience in retrospect.
Did not our hearts burn within us?
Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him.
But being on the way
we may meet the risen one in the past
as well as in present
in suddenly being taken to another place
that opens new paths of remembering:
Do this in remembering me.
(Source:Jeff Shrowder, 2014)
Christ who walks alongside us,
Often without us realising,
May we be more aware of your presence.
As Easter people we know the facts,
But don’t always comprehend their meaning.
How foolish we are,
And how slow of heart to believe your truth and your way as you would have it.
Meet us where we are at.
Teach us again and open our minds,
Awaken in us a new epiphany,
An experience of knowing you in a new way.
Open the Scriptures to us,
That we might hear you as The Word of God,
Leave us surprised and changed,
Reinvigorated in our faith and following.
Set our hearts on fire with a slow burning passion to live your love,
Being and making disciples,
Witnessing to your reality,
And sharing learning about you and what you call us to,
What you call us to be
And what you call us to do.
Word of God,
Who walks alongside us and who journeys with us,
Meet us where we are at,
Teach us again and open our minds,
Reinvigorate in our faith and following,
Leave us surprised and changed.
May it always be so.
(Source: Jon Humphries, Prayers that unite)
ROAD, TABLE, ROAD (Luke 24: 13-35)
The weary miles coat our feet
in the dust of the Emmaus road.
Afternoon sky shimmers with heat,
and the light, like a crust of fire cast off by the sun,
scrapes at eyes already raw from weeping.
We have left Jerusalem, but not our grief –
he died, the one we called our Lord –
and we, bereft of purpose, joy and hope,
now try to find our way without his leading.
Like a cleft tree or uprooted vine, our hurting minds,
stung by the strength of death,
cannot conceive of anything greater still;
thus we’re blind to hope too wild for cracked hearts to receive –
angels saying Christ’s risen from the tomb –
the news the women would have us believe.
So we dully plod the dusty road,
gloom our only companion
until someone joins our journey:
just a man, we assume, like us;
and while we talk of all just done in Jerusalem,
he listens, mildness in his voice as he probes our words,
tale spun from our bewildered thoughts.
Though the blindness of our sad minds to who he is remains,
yet our hearts begin to feel a lightness
as this one stranger, his words kindling flame,
shows from Scripture what Christ had come to do.
Uplifted, rapt (though still he gives no name),
surprised to find that hope has surged anew,
we beg his presence at our evening meal.
But when he takes the bread, gives thanks,
the view we have of him is changed,
for now his real identity is revealed:
Christ, who gave himself for the life of the world,
who sealed the new covenant in which we are saved
by his body given, his blood shed –
and who, raised by God, triumphed over the grave.
Questions will wait; we don’t, can’t understand it all,
but hardly care.
Weary no more, we want to tell the others what we can;
hurrying we head through the open door
to the road again, to Jerusalem.
Sensing how much more there now is in store
for the hungry of the world,
we’ll tell them that Jesus who died and rose is our bread –
that he is life, greater than death. Praise him!
(Source: Andy King 2014) Continue reading