Sunday, April 23, 2017

Great deliverance! April 23

Worship on the Second Sunday of Easter, April 23 …

My friends, as we continue our celebration of Resurrection and re-birth, we begin a new series:  “I AM.”  In the shining light of the Resurrection, we are reminded of the profound teachings of Jesus during his living ministry among us … how our hearts burned within us as he taught us, leading us ever deeper into the truth of God.  We remember how he appropriated powerful elements of the religious tradition and revealed their new and deeper meanings and import for our lives.  “I am the water of life.”  “I am the bread of life.”  “I am light of the world.”  In the glory of the Eastertide, we will explore these “I AM” statements and teachings for all they reveal about God’s Christ, about us, and about our calling to live as God’s people today.

On Sunday, April 23 …

╬  “Great deliverance!”

Easter dawn finds two of Jesus’ disciples headed out of town.  They are leaving Jerusalem behind.  Leaving behind all of the tumultuous, tragic and mystifying events of recent days.  They are journeying back, in a sense, to a place that is glorified in the history and traditions of the People.  They are returning to a place that symbolizes the “Great Deliverance” they had hoped God would bring about through Jesus.  In the aftermath of Jesus’ death, they are retreating to the last place that meant victory for them, the defeat of their oppressors, deliverance by the very hand of God, freedom!  They are headed back, back to Emmaus, back to the beginning.  And we’re invited to make the journey with them as we gather today.

click here to listen to the late service 
click here to listen to the early service 

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

This is truly a blessed season as we “process” all that has occurred in the light of God’s revelation in Christ.

Blessings and peace to you all,

- Pr. Brad Highum

PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------------------------------------

God of new beginnings, lead us ever forward.  By the power of your Spirit grant us the vision and the courage and the grace to follow your Christ, the Resurrected One, now and in the time to come.  Amen.

READINGS ---------------------------------------------------------

First Reading:  1 Maccabees 3:6-11,19-25

6 At daybreak Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men, but they did not have armor and swords such as they desired. 7 And they saw the camp of the Gentiles, strong and fortified, with cavalry all around it; and these men were trained in war. 8 But Judas said to those who were with him, "Do not fear their numbers or be afraid when they charge. 9 Remember how our ancestors were saved at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh with his forces pursued them. 10 And now, let us cry to Heaven, to see whether he will favor us and remember his covenant with our ancestors and crush this army before us today. 11 Then all the Gentiles will know that there is one who redeems and saves Israel."  

19 Just as Judas was finishing this speech, a detachment appeared, coming out of the hills. 20 They saw that their army had been put to flight, and that the Jews were burning the camp, for the smoke that was seen showed what had happened. 21 When they perceived this, they were greatly frightened, and when they also saw the army of Judas drawn up in the plain for battle, 22 they all fled into the land of the Philistines. 23 Then Judas returned to plunder the camp, and they seized a great amount of gold and silver, and cloth dyed blue and sea purple, and great riches. 24 On their return they sang hymns and praises to Heaven — "For he is good, for his mercy endures forever." 25 Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.

Psalm  114

1 When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
2 Judah became God's sanctuary, Israel his dominion.
3 The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back.
4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.
5 Why is it, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back?
6 O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.

Second Reading:  1 Peter 1:22-25

22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23 You have been born anew, not of  perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.  The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever."  That word is the good news that was announced to you.

Gospel:  Luke 24:13-35

13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. 18 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?" 19 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, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 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. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 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. 24 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." 25 Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29 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. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 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?" 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.