Third Sunday of Easter
I would like to begin by talking a little bit about Peter. Peter was a character. I have to believe he was an open book when it came to his feelings and I am so impressed with this passage that I would like to repeat that last sentence.
“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. You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed. Through the enduring word of God.”
I love that phrase, “love one another deeply from the heart” There is so much emotion from that statement. I imagine you all have had those kinds of feelings of loving someone so deeply that you feel overwhelmed with emotion. It is a feeling so intense that it consumes your every thought. You are filled with great joy and miserable at the same time. There is passion in love.
I believe that Peter had that kind of passion for those around him as well as a passion for God. Peter had that same 'burning of the heart' feeling that the two disciples had as they listened to Jesus on the road to Emmaus.
The road to Emmaus. I really like this story. Jesus does not let them know who he is until they are at supper where he breaks bread after blessing it. The veil over their eyes is lifted and then poof! Jesus disappears. There were two things that Jesus did in this story. He shared with them the word. He told them how his death and resurrection were a part of what had already been foretold in scripture from the time of Moses. The second thing was to bless and break bread with these two disciples.
This tradition of meditating on the word and breaking bread through the Eucharist are two thousand year old practices that we practice today in the church. They are the heart of our service.
Of course, the odd part of this story is that the disciples didn't recognize Jesus. My question is, what about us Christians today. Do we recognize Jesus in our lives? Do we have a veil interfering with our vision too? Listening to the evening news or reading the Des Moines Register can convince about anyone that there is not much good happening in this world. There isn't much good news.
I am here to tell you there is good news. People do care for one another. I have a problem with my leg and I see people doing small favors for me all the time. They open doors for me. They have me sit while they do some small task. Several weeks ago we had an event for the volunteers in the Main Street program. I was going through the doors at Carpenters Hall carrying a container of hot dogs. My leg started to give on me and I almost fell. Three people rushed over, took the pan and urged me to sit down. The cynics in the room might say they were worried about the hot dogs but I think they were worried about me.
Paul reminded us that we are the body of Christ. Those people rushing over to help poor fumbling Fred were practicing their Christianity. In their own way they were showing love for their neighbor. I challenge you to look this week at the people in your life and see Christ working through them. Lift up your veil.
Blessings and Peace,