Greetings from Peter Mayer

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Breaking Bread- Easter 3a

Easter 3 (a)
May 4, 2014
Pastor Ronald T. Glusenkamp
Breaking Bread

Luke 24:13–35
The colorful story of Jesus' appearance to two disciples on the road to Emmaus answers the question of how Jesus is to be recognized among us. Here, he is revealed through the scriptures and in the breaking of bread.

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

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

      Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again,
      pass the Word around: loaves abound!
      Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again,
            pass the Word around: loaves abound!

Text: Fred Kaan, b. 1929
Text © 1975 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.

Grace and peace to you from our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I like the pattern because it is a familiar one, “taking, blessing, breaking and giving.”
And it was in that moment when they were eating the bread that they re-cognized Jesus for who he was.

I’ve got a painting here by Caravaggio that was done in 1601. It now hangs in room 32 at the National Gallery in London. It’s one of my favorite paintings for several reasons. I like the moment that it captures. The gentleman on the right looks as if he is going to need a defibrillator. Jesus looks different as well. He doesn’t have a beard. It’s a great representation of still life- but life as they know it isn’t going to be “still’ any more. It’s as if the earth shook! They are seeing Jesus and it all comes back to them. Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and the seven-mile walk to Emmaus.
They were walking with him, but didn’t see him. So, like Mary Magdalene who recognized Jesus when she heard him calling her by name, these disciples finally “see” when they eat the bread.

You know me well enough after eight years to share with you what’s on my heart and my mind. So, like those disciples we too have been on a journey together with Jesus. And then this past week you received the news that I had received a call from the ELCA to be the Director of the ELCA Campaign-“Always Being Made New.”.  It was after much prayer and conversation that I accepted the call. As I’ve shared with many of you, “it would have been easy to stay. But, I can’t encourage others to accept and follow their calls if I am not willing to be open to God’s call.”

I want to tell you a story. When we moved to Minneapolis several years ago we found
ourselves in the position of having to find a church for the first time. So, we did some “church shopping.” We were at one church for about a year until we went to another one, Edina Community Lutheran Church that we finally joined. We did so because of its outreach and sense of community that we felt. They had two pastors there, Pastor Erik and Pastor Melanie. Our family liked the fact that there was a male and a female. Pastor Erik gave very academic, prophetic sermons (and still does). Pastor Melanie sometimes broke out into song during her sermons. They were different and we loved them both!
One day we got the letter from church announcing that Pastor Melanie was leaving.
I couldn’t believe it. I said to Sue Ann, “so, this is how it feels.” For I had left three congregations before and knew what I t felt like from that side of the pulpit, pew or altar- that as a pastor to say goodbye to the congregation. But I didn’t know what it felt like as a parishioner say goodbye to a pastor.

After I got over my shock, I was like, “don’t we get to vote on this?” I mean when we call a pastor we vote on her or him. And so I found myself feeling sad, somewhat angry and also happy for the new venture that Pastor Melanie had been called to. Mixed emotions for sure. I remembered some of the things that Pastor Melanie had said which had touched my heart. I also listened to Pastor Erik and other leaders as they expressed their own grief, but led the congregation through that time. After some time transpired, a call committee was established. I was surprised by whom they called and I didn’t want to like the new pastor. She wasn’t Pastor Melanie, she was Pastor Pam And I knew that I’d have to start all over again with her. . But, over time, I came to love her and her way of doing things. ON our final Sunday when we left to move here to Denver there it was Pastor Pam who cried when she said “farewell and Godspeed to us.” She now has recently left that congregation to be a pastor in Northfield, MN. So, the circle continues.

I don’t assume to know what you are feeling or thinking today. I do want to hear you. The leadership is setting up various times for us to walk, talk and break bread together.

I will tell you where I am. I am so grateful for what we’ve done together. We’ve gathered around the table together where Jesus has taken, blessed, broken and given the bread out so that others might see the resurrected Jesus in the world today.

      Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again,
      Pass the Word around: loaves abound!
      Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again,
            pass the Word around: loaves abound!

(Go Back to Photo)

What I know most of all is there is always a place at the table. This painting reveals that. We are invited to dine with  Jesus and there is a space, a place right there for each one of us.

I am feeling love and peace in my heart for you. I celebrate the equipping, empowering and unleashing that has taken place and will continue to  blossom and grow.

Christ is Raised; He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!

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