Acts 2: 14a, 16-31 and Luke 24: 13-35
The Easter story continues. And the fallout from the accounts of the first people to encounter the risen Christ in different ways and in different locations continues to ripple out from the epicentre of Jerusalem to the highways and byways of Judea – all the way down the ages and across cultures – even to us here in lockdown in Australia 2020. Word is spreading…
Initially Jesus is unrecognised, unrecognisable.
Why do you think that is?
Gradually, Jesus is revealed, unveiled.
Post Easter, He is seen and unseen, known and unknown.
The story is both clear and confusing – unbelievable – it`s hard to believe – and unbelievable – beyond what we could ever imagine!
How does Jesus, in His risenness, become revealed, known, seen?
On the day of Pentecost through the exposition of Peter. (Acts 2)
Through the witness and testimony of the one who had denied and deserted Jesus, the one who had badly let down Jesus and who, gloriously restored, all shame and guilt removed, cannot keep himself from preaching what he has come to understand, telling everyone about his risen Lord, his risen friend.
On the first day of the week in an ordinary home, through an ordinary action that prompts a memory, a remembering of an earlier time, Jesus is known…and even as He is known, He disappears.
But the felt experience of talking with Him, having the scriptures opened up powerfully, their history explained, convinces these two sad, despondent men that something extraordinary has happened. (Luke 24: 30) So much so they turn around and head back to Jerusalem, back to where they had come from, the place they`d left only hours before, crushed and broken. Their experience at table has transformed their dismay and despondency to wonder and delight!
Are there lessons for us here in how Jesus, in His risenness, become revealed, known, seen – today?
- Encountering Jesus: the Word of God – the bread of life – nourishing, sustaining, food for the journey. All we need.
- Encountering Jesus: walking alongside, in conversation, inviting Him in, responding, remembering. All we need.
To re-member is to put things, to put a body, back to together again.
To re-member Jesus…when we come together in His name – even via Zoom – might we say we constitute, re-constitute, His body?
In these days, in this way, can we declare, in humility but without embarrassment – `We are the Body of Christ!
Living. Alive. Marked. Scarred. For the world in all its pain and suffering. For each other in all our pain and suffering.
- `Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart`
Acts 2: 37
- `Did not our hearts burn within us while He was talking to us on the road, while he was opening up the scriptures to us?` Luke 24: 32
The effect of the Word, the effect of the risen Christ on hearts and lives is transformative – still today as then 2000 years ago. Meeting as Christians, through the preaching of the Word and through the sacraments, we encounter Jesus again and again.
Can you think of a time, an experience, a passage of scripture, a word that deeply affected your heart and life?
What does the presence of Christ mean for us in these days when we can`t celebrate Communion?