Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Year C Easter Week WED 2019 Zeitgeist

Year C Easter Week WEDNESDAY 24 April 2019
St. James the Less Episcopal, Ashland, VA

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.

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.

This morning I want to look at what Jesus did, from 30,000 feet. So often we look at the in-depth, and we should. But I think MUCH of what we are to do in the Church and as ministers of the Gospel (and that includes you!) must be about Re-Framing the perceptions and understandings of our day.

The Germans have some great words for things. One that most know is Zeitgeist. It means “the Spirit of the Times.” Literally Time-Ghost. I like Time-Ghost better, but it does not translate clearly in our culture, so we will stick with “the Spirit of the Times.”

When Jesus is asking his followers on the Road to Emmaus he inquires of them what they are so eagerly discussing. The bring up the events of the day, and do not know what to think. And then Jesus steps in. But he does not do so from the perspective of that weekend.  He does so from the perspective of the prophecies surrounding the Messiah, systematically stepping them through what they saw and heard and knew, to bring them to a different perspective and understanding.

That is what I attempt to do every Sunday. Every Sunday. It is not about being Pollyanna and putting on rose-colored glasses. It is truly seeing everything through a lens of faith. On Easter Sunday, one of my daughters were pondering the Resurrection. She asked, “Do you think most people realize that this changes everything?” I told her a) she was right, and b) that is my job in a nutshell.

Jesus took those disciples, while not of the 12 apostles, they were in his secondary circle, and invited them to be fully enlightened to what he himself, Jesus, was all about, starting all the way back with Moses. If there were ever a Bible Study I wish I had been privy to, that would have been the one. Just imagine.

In our life and work, that is what we are invited to do, in what we do and how we do it, in what we say and how we say it. We are invited to let people catch a glimpse of the Resurrected Lord and his Abundant Life. They may see that in us. They may see it in the Love with which we do what we do. They may prod and probe and poke to see if underneath we really are like they are. Our prayer in our ministries need to be that like those two disciples, “Their eyes may be opened, and recognize HIM.”

Reframing things, and stepping up above the squabble is the way to do that. May we rise to that task. It presents itself daily. Amen

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Blessings, Rock