Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Year B Easter Week WED The Same Stone

Year B Easter Week WEDNESDAY, 4 April 2018
St James the Less Episcopal, Ashland, VA 
“The Same Stone”

Collect: O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalm 118:19-24   Confitemini Domino
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; *
I will enter them;
I will offer thanks to the Lord.
20 "This is the gate of the Lord; *
he who is righteous may enter."
21 I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *
and have become my salvation.
22 The same stone which the builders rejected *
has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing, *
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 On this day the Lord has acted; *
we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Luke 24:13-35
Now on that same day, the first day of the week, two of the disciples 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.

Our perception is our reality. We might think that we are above and beyond that, but so often, too often, how we have decided to see is what we see. And even worse, we do NOT SEE what we are NOT looking for, as much as we see what we are looking for.

Whenever there is an accident with a small child and a car, or a motorcycle and a car, what do we hear? “I just did not see him/her/them.” And coupled with that, we all know how fast things can happen.

One day about 8 or 9 years ago, my youngest daughter got separated from our family while at Target. She was just a toddler. We were standing there, and we looked around and she was gone. Just gone. We had not moved. We had not left her. It was baffling. To complicate the matter, she did not speak well, and when she did, only we could understand her. Luckily my wife was with me. I told her to look around, and hold onto our oldest, and I ran to the front door of the store in case someone had grabbed her. In moments like that, every irrational fear comes, and it is hard to keep one’s head. I truly ran, and when I got to the front of the store I scanned around looking for her. She was so short, she could go through clothes racks, and spotting her in them would be impossible. I was about to call for an employee for help in the search when I see her coming down the aisle, fast and deliberate. She was headed right for the exit, thankfully all by herself. And when she saw me standing at the exit, she broke into a grin. “I KNEW YOU WOULD FIND ME!” She laughed and smiled. I could have killed her, and love her to death all at the same moment. All the adrenaline needed a place to go. She had wandered somehow from the back corner of the store, to the front door with no one stopping or slowing her. My only guess is she was heading for the car. Oh my. My heart still races thinking about it. But nothing, and I mean nothing, could have kept me from finding her.

I was looking for her, so I saw her. But my perspective, where she was with me (or so I thought) to her not being with me happened so fast.

The followers of Jesus on the road to Emmaus were no longer looking for Jesus. They were not blind, nor ignorant, they just were not looking so they did not see. It gave Jesus a chance to reframe and enable them to see without seeing, look without finding, and in doing so they could hear and grow enough to see, really see, in the breaking of the bread.

Let him who has ears to hear, let him hear. (Mark 4:9) Let him who has eyes to see, let him see.

Jesus did not judge or rebuke them, but met them where they were and brought them to where they needed to be. He does that with us as well.
“The same stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” Ps. 118:22

One man’s nobody is another man’s Messiah. My prayer for all of us to have God’s eyes, God’s ears, so that we might actually see and hear what is real, and true, and needed. Think on that today as we come to Christ’s table; may we be awakened in the breaking of the bread. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for wanting to comment. Please add it here, and after a moderator reviews it, it will be posted if appropriate. Look forward to hearing your opinion.
Blessings, Rock