25 Apr Sunday Service – Third Sunday of Easter 2020 – by Rev’d Alison Judge
As we receive Jesus welcome to come and be with him we can open our hearts in thanksgiving and worship, and we can share with him our current loneliness and fears.
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I am sure we are all missing the simple pleasure of going on a journey. Even if it is only out to the shops or to visit a friend. In these days as we continue in lockdown we are probably all aware of the journeys we have been forced to cancel or postpone. We cannot travel at this time even for the most important gatherings and our hearts go out to those who mourn and are unable to travel to the funeral of their dead friend or family member.
So at this time our journeys, as with our Eucharist, must take on a different form. Rather than covering distance our journey can take us deeper into our emotional, psychological and spiritual landscapes in contemplation and prayer. This can be a time of blessing as we discover God’s love and mercy abiding with us. It can also be a very difficult for some who struggle with mental wellbeing who find within themselves anxiety and no peace. Living in these strange and disorientating times we may feel lost, we hear bewildering news, our route is full of uncertainties.
But to all of us as we imagine the journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus let us remember that God is with us today as Jesus walked with the disciples all those years ago.
As we remember too Jesus breaking bread with his two friends, although we cannot physically break bread together we know that the bread is still broken and offered to us. Rowan Williams writing on the Eucharist reminds us that in Holy Communion, Jesus tells us that he wants our company. As we receive Jesus welcome to come and be with him we can open our hearts in thanksgiving and worship, and we can share with him our current loneliness and fears.
We can remember too that Jesus shared his final meal with his disciples not on a cheerful carefree occasion, but when he faced death and pain. As he identified himself with the broken bread and spilt wine, his tortured and crucified body and shed blood, Jesus is telling us that his death is a doorway to hope. Jesus shows us that even in the darkest places we are connected to God the giver of life and in that connection we give thanks.
Our communion today will be a spiritual act of receiving from God the giver, the brokenness of his Son the gateway to hope.