13Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18Then 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?” 19He 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, 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21But 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. 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23and 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. 24Some 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.” 25Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
28As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29But 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. 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32They 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?” 33That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Easter is 50 Days—a week of weeks, 7 x 7. Today is the 3rd Sunday of Easter; the 15th day of Easter.
Last Sunday on Easter 2, we heard the account of Easter evening from John's gospel, where Jesus bestows the Holy Spirit. This week Luke brings us another Easter evening experience.
The Word on the Street
"Word on the street." Current buzz talk or information or simply circulating rumors.
Wall Street. Sesame Street. Santa Monica Blvd. Where you live, where I live, the freeway, any street we frequently or occasionally walk or drive. The Word on the sidewalk—almost anywhere but inside the house, shopping center, retail outlet, apartment, church building.
This is Luke's lectionary year. A while ago we lined out some characteristics of Luke's gospel that include... HS, women, the marginalized, history, prayer, table fellowship.
This story begins while they were on the way from one place to another place.
• Me: the people and groups that gave us scripture wrote theology as much as they wrote history.
• Pastor Peg: they wrote theology more than they wrote history!
For this week, Easter 3, Luke brings his version of Easter evening.
They had hoped. Evidently were disappointed, yet they recounted the entire resurrection morning story. In Spanish hope and expect are one and the same word, espero. So if you hope for something, you actively expect it to happen.
I put together a
•that same [resurrection] day •Jerusalem •death •we had hoped
•interpreted scripture [beginning with Moses]
•took bread •blessed •broke •gave
•recognized [from previous experiences] •Jerusalem •road
•known in [action of] breaking bread
Where else in scripture do we find "taken, blessed, broken, given"?
We've had a version of He Qi's Emmaus Road painting over the fireplace in the parish house living room. The side closest to us is open: a place for everyone of us at the Table God sets. It wasn't there this morning because it temporally had migrated to the chancel.
The earliest account comes from the apostle Paul
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Three accounts from Luke's gospel
And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.Luke 9:16
Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Luke 24:30
In Luke's second volume, the Acts of the Apostles
Acts 27:35 After he [Paul] had said this, he took bread; and giving thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began to eat. Acts 27:35
Where in our own lives do we experience "take, blessed, broken, given"? This is what we do in the liturgy: scripture read/re-cited, scripture interpreted, the word made visible in the sacrament.
They know the words, but recognize Jesus in the action. The action reveals Jesus' identity. Besides, they remembered other times Jesus had done the same actions took, blessed, broken, gave. So their memories were critical in recognizing Jesus. In this Emmaus Road pericope about Easter evening, Luke brings us a re-citing, remembering of scripture, followed by the "visible" Eucharistic word. We can see the bread and cup; we also can hear it, smell it, taste it, touch it.