Tag Archives: holy communion

Be Known to Us, Lord Jesus, in the Breaking of the Bread

By the Rev. Darren Miner

Gospel Reading

How many here remember the film Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray? It was about a man who was cursed to relive the same day over and over again until he learned to love others more than himself. I feel like we are in that movie, reliving the same day. For it is now two weeks since Easter Day, and we are still hearing a Gospel reading that takes place on the evening of the Day of Resurrection. Maybe the editors of the lectionary think we still have a lesson to learn from that great day. And maybe they’re right!

Today’s Gospel reading is the familiar story of the meeting on the road to Emmaus. It’s so familiar that we are tempted not to pay close attention. But we should!

It is early evening on the day of Jesus’ Resurrection, when two dispirited disciples decide to give up and head home. One disciple is a man named Cleopas. The other disciple is not named and could possibly be a woman. The two are discussing Jesus’ death when they are joined by a stranger. The Gospel says that their eyes were forcibly restrained, so that they might not recognize the stranger as Jesus. And unlike Mary Magdalene, neither do they recognize Jesus’ voice. We can only assume that Jesus was the source of this restraint. No reason for it is given. But I suspect Jesus’ plan was to open their minds and their hearts before opening their eyes.

Jesus inserts himself in their conversation, asking them what they are discussing. They go on to tell him, speaking of Jesus as a prophet who had been handed over by the Judean authorities and crucified. It is telling that they do not profess Jesus as the Son of God, but only as a prophet. They had hoped that Jesus was the Messiah, sent from God to free Israel from Roman rule. They had hoped that he would be a great warrior-king. But now all their hopes are dashed. They go on to relate the story of how some women in their group claimed to have had a vision of angels, but it is clear that they think this but an idle tale.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Recent Sermons

Water into Wine: The First of Seven Signs

By the Rev. Darren Miner

Gospel Reading

Click here for a printable pdf version.

According to ancient Christian tradition, the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6 is linked with three different Gospel stories: the visitation of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, and the wedding feast in Cana. Each of these stories, in its own way, deals with an epiphany, with a divine manifestation. In this liturgical year, Year C, we are privileged to hear all three of the traditional Epiphany texts over a period of eleven days.

Today’s story of a divine manifestation takes place at a wedding banquet, which in Jesus’ day was a week-long affair. Friends and family would come and go throughout the week; and the feasting, singing, and dancing would continue each evening. Guests were expected to bring gifts of food and drink to help the groom keep the party going for the whole week. In return for the wedding gifts, the groom was honor-bound to entertain his guests in style. And if he didn’t, the guests could take their host to court!

image

In today’s story, disaster strikes. The wine runs out. Some Bible commentators have speculated that maybe Jesus and his disciples failed to bring an expected gift of wine and were in fact the cause of the shortage, to the dismay of Jesus’ mother. Perhaps! But that is just pure guesswork. In any case, Jesus’ mother notices the problem and asks her son to do something about it. She realizes that the groom would be publicly shamed and legally liable if the celebration had to be cut short.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Epiphany, Recent Sermons