This is the first in a series of conversations between Kirsty and Craig that reflect on a gospel reading and our responses to it. This week we say something about ourselves and the way we might recognise Jesus in the stranger.
It is now over a month since we were able to meet together and we continue to manage this lockdown period in different ways. Many have grown used to working from home, discovering just how much can be done online. But for others it is difficult, trying to manage work, child care, close proximity to one another all at the same time. Last week I was supposed to be on holiday, I did cut back on work related activity – but when you are still on the end of a phone, or looking at e-mails for other reasons, it is hard to do. My thanks to Kirsty for pulling the weekly letter together with some thoughtful worship material. That was one way I had a holiday!
However, it was also a space to think about the different ways we approach this time and Kirsty and I have decided to try some podcasts. These will be discussions based around the weekly gospel readings through to at least Pentecost (31 May) and we hope will complement the other online resources that people are finding. For those who can not access online material, the worship reflections on the other side of this letter, will follow a similar theme. We hope you continue to find them useful and thank you to those who have been writing back to me, it’s lovely to hear from you and to receive letter that aren’t bills!
I’ve also decided to introduce a Zoom Bible Study looking at the First letter of Peter, but will also include something in the weekly letter. 1 Peter was written to people who did not have buildings but were to be living stones wherever they were, The first line is addressed “To the scattered…” Perhaps there will be something we will learn from this old technology, using todays communication methods.
The first bible study will be on Tuesday 28 April at 7pm, and then same time, same place, each Tuesday through May. If you would like to join me, then please contact me and I will send you the link.
In the meantime, “like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Sunday 26 April: Third Sunday of Easter
Prayer Risen Jesus in our conversations and in our actions may we recognise your presence amongst us and in the lives of our community.
Living God your joyful Spirit
breaks the bounds of time and space,
rests in love upon your people,
drawn together in this place.
Here we join in glad thanksgiving,
here rejoice to pray and praise:
Lord of all our past traditions,
Lord of all our future days
Bible Read Luke 24:13-35
Reflection Do you recognise anything of yourself in this account? Perhaps the confusion within Cleopas and his friend as they found themselves talking with someone they assumed was a stranger. Perhaps they were still grieving, perhaps they were disorientated by the change in events, perhaps they could not quite believe something that is being reported by women, even though some of the men had been to confirm it. But for some reason they failed to recognise Jesus in the conversation and only saw him in the action of breaking bread.
Who do we believe? and what makes a person believable? How do we recognise Jesus? and what do we bring to our own conversations? How can we recognise Jesus in people whose lives do not fit into nice neat stereotypes.? How do we help people to affirm who they are and to recognise God’s blessing in each person whether they be stranger or friend?
Prayer Incarnate Jesus, you saw yourself in each of us, open our eyes to recognise you in ourselves and our neighbours so that we live and treat one another with love and compassion rather than fear and prejudice. Amen.
As your bread may we broken,
scattered in community;
we who know your greatest blessings
called to share Christ’s ministry.
May we gently lead each other,
share our hunger and our thirst
learn that only through our weakness
shall we know the strength of Christ
RS 530 © Jill Jenkins
Blessing To God’s scattered people … Grace and peace to you in fullest measure.