Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Third Sunday of Easter (A), April 30, 2017 - Acts 2:14a, 36-41 and Luke 24:13-35

                                                 Caravaggio: Supper at Emmaus, 1601

Acts 2:14a, 36-41

Drop in the Bucket

It's almost like an afterthought,
The number who were added.
Before, the news that Jesus was
Messiah had been dreaded
Because, if he was dead and gone,
From whence would come their rescue?
What kind of gratitude was that,
To crucify, not thank, you?

Thus, at a crossroads did they find
Themselves, while Pete exhorted;
And heard God's reach extended wide,
And could not be distorted
To say that just a few could reap
The benefits of living
With knowledge of the God who made
A name by faithful giving.

But now, all immigrants to faith
Were welcomed without papers,
For Christ, in giving all, had waived
Restrictions on their neighbors;
Three thousand, in the bucket, then,
Was just a drop's beginning
Towards when a world with love for all
Will one day sure be brimming.

Scott L. Barton

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.

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Luke 24:13-35

In the Breaking

This long and detailed story makes
It seem as if the writer knew
First hand "what things" took place that day
When Cleopas, and other Jews,
Recounted to this stranger how
"Their" leaders had turned Jesus in;
If Luke was there, then even he
Can't recognize the man as kin!
And even after teaching - words
You'd think that he would recognize -
It's only in the breaking of
The bread, the Lord is now reprised;
This breaking - word made flesh - by one
Born in the place called house of bread,
Is how in each and ev'ry age
We'll see him risen from the dead.

Scott L. Barton

Now on that same day two of them 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.

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