Easter Week 7

& archive, Year B.

 Prayer before reading:    

 Lord Jesus Christ,                   
You call us to come
To be with you,
And to bear the cost
Of giving up our false self.
By your Spirit help me
To see you,
To hear your voice
Help me to follow you in all of life,
And to walk in the joy and freedom of the resurrection

Amen 

 Season of Easter.  Week Seven

This week the lectionary reading invites us into the upper room in Jerusalem. As we climb the stairs, night has fallen. Cleopas and another disciple have already returned from Emmaus and run up these stairs a short while before—bursting with the good news of how Jesus had joined them on the road and made himself known to them as he broke bread with them in their home.  The other disciples are talking among themselves about how Jesus had indeed risen, and had appeared to Simon. Only Thomas doubts. Like the disciples who have been huddling in this room behind locked doors for the last forty-eight hours, and the two disciples who decided to leave that room and go home to Emmaus, he too has lost hope, and is not about to believe what others say about Jesus coming back from the dead.

As Philip Greenslade writes, “Hope does not easily die, but when it does, it is destructive. Hope is the oxygen of the soul. To lose hope is to leak life, to close the door on the future and reach a dead end. It seemed a dead end for the two followers of Jesus trudging disconsolately back to their home village of Emmaus in the bitter aftermath of his crucifixion. . . . the great adventure was over: ‘we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel’”  (A Passion for God’s Story. Paternoster. 4,5.) Likewise those who stayed behind locked doors–fearful,  their hopes shattered.

To Emmaus, or behind locked doors is where we tend to go when we lose hope (Buechner in Greenslade. 5).  So also when the breath of hope seems to be sucked  out of our soul as the world and all its sophisticated science doubts  the resurrection of Jesus, or fails to find a cure  for poverty, injustice, violence, environmental erosion, and rampant disease.

Hence, as we enter into this upper room, and Jesus is waiting to meet us there, we need to hear the story once again – the Great Story of God – which spans the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, and to see Jesus in the Story.  His death and resurrection take center place – and change everything forever. No more can death and its powers imprison us. Jesus has made a way through death to life. That is Good News, and worth talking about.

At this point Jesus leads us out of this room where we have been trapped by fear and loss of hope, and takes us to Bethany. He has led us into the Great Story of God, and now instructs to wait in Jerusalem – not in fear – but in hope as we await the coming of the Holy Spirit who will empower and companion us.  Although Jesus is about to return to heaven, he will be with through the presence of the Spirit. Stay in this place for a while as Jesus lifts up his hands and blesses you.

Prayer before reading:

Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us.
Help me to see as you see,
To recognize your voice
As I  listen;
And  to follow in your way  –
To life.

Amen

Season of Easter:  Week Seven

  • 5/14    Monday: John 17:6-10
  • 5/15    Tuesday: John 17:11-19
  • 5/16    Wednesday: Psalm 47
  • 5/17    Thursday:  Ascension Day Acts 1:1-11
  • 5/18    Friday: Ephesians 1:15-23
  • 5/19   Saturday: Luke 24:44-49
  • 5/20   Sunday: Luke 24:50-53