‘Meeting Jesus on the road’ – 26th April 2020 Evening – 3rd Sunday of Easter

The Readings

Acts 2.14a, 36-41

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.


Luke 24.13-35

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.

Meeting Jesus on the road – a meditation on Luke 24:13-35
By Catherine, a Lay Reader at St Mary's.

They met Jesus on the road
walking together, just the two.
Walking with heavy hearts
their minds confused,
shocked, bereaved, exhausted.

And Jesus walked beside -
their friend -
but did they know?

They met Jesus as they tried
to make sense
or understand
how hope of the coming Messiah
hope of joyful deliverance
became hope cruelly dashed
and the agony of grief.
Then of how grief
became confusion
Rumours of an angel
saying he was alive.

And Jesus walked beside,
but did they know?

They met with Jesus as he brought to life
the scriptures
pointing to this very thing
being necessary,
They listened intently,
their hearts burned inside.

And Jesus walked beside,
patiently explaining
but did they know?

They met with Jesus as they offered
food and drink
safety for the night
and rest.
Hospitality offered willingly
the little they could do

And Jesus stayed beside them
but did they know?

They met with Jesus as he gave God
for the welcome of strangers
now friends,
and for the simple
of bread

And when Jesus broke the bread
Yes, now they knew!


Have we met Jesus on the road -
walking together or alone?
Walking with heavy hearts,
our minds confused,
shocked, anxious, exhausted.

Has Jesus walked beside -
our friend -
and did we know?

Have we met Jesus as we passed
a painting
pinned not to kitchen fridge or wall
but on a window
looking outwards?
Or as we passed
a joke or game
on street or pavement?
Children offering gladly
the little they can do?

Has Jesus walked beside,
chuckling too,
And did we know?

Have we met Jesus as we passed
a gatepost plea
for buttons for a project
making scrubs
for frontline carers.
And seen the plastic folder
already gathering
great and small?

Has Jesus walked beside,
thankful too,
And did we know?

Have we met Jesus as we passed
a shop
now sadly closed
yet still proclaiming
with thanks and joy
news of recovery,
and a new birth?

Has Jesus walked beside us
rejoicing too,
And did we know?

Have we met Jesus as we reached
our homes yet once again
Has Jesus come inside
with us
and shared,
And do we know?

Catherine Burchell 26/4/20

(With thanks to all the residents of Walkley who brighten up my government-sanctioned daily exercise)

The Prayers

We pray for Christ's world, for those places where human violence and greed have marred the beauty of creation. We offer to him with thanks all those who set aside ego and self-promotion to work for peace and reconciliation.
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We pray for the Church. We give thanks when its presence brings hope, support and community. We pray for those times when it has fallen short. We pray especially for our Archbishop, our Bishop Pete and Bishop Designate Sophie. We give thanks for our partners in ministry and St Mark’s Broomhill and St John’s Ranmoor, and for Walkley Ebenezer Methodist.
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We pray for all those who suffer at this time, particularly those effected by the coronavirus. As the lockdown continues, we pray for those who struggle with isolation, mental health and domestic violence. We give thanks for those who care for others in many different ways.
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We pray for those who have died. We remember those we have known and loved. We pray for those who have died as a result of the pandemic. We pray for those from our own community. Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

Almighty Father,
who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord:
give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.