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Sermon: 3rd Sunday of Easter 2020 (with audio) | Barn Church Kew

The picture is Road to Emmaus by Diane Fairfield

3rd Sunday of Easter audio

Our worship together is in the name of the + Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you:

         and also with you.

Hymn: The Day of resurrection  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgIx_0jhW1Y

Let us pray

         Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden:  cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Confession:

         Christ died to sin once for all, and now lives to God.  Let us renew our resolve to have done with all that is evil and confess our sins in penitence and faith.

         Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed.
We have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy,
and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

         Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you, +pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

.

         Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.

         Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.

         Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

         For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

Let us pray

      Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strenthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Acts 2: 14a, 36-41

Acts 2: 14a, 36-41

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.  “Let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”  With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”  Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

This is the Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God

1 Peter 1: 17-23

1 Peter 1: 17-23

 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.  Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

This is the Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God

Hymn:  You laid aside your majesty  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk_XCWh1UkU

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

         Glory to you, O Lord.

Luke 24: 13-35

Luke 24: 13-35

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke:

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.  As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;  but they were kept from recognizing him.  He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast.  One of them, named Cleopas, asked him,

“Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

“What things?” he asked. 

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.  The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him;  but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.  In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning  but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.  Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 

 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther.  But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”  They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together  and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”  Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you O Christ.

Sermon from Richard Austen

Today’s gospel tells us an interesting and rather meaningful story. Two disciples, Cleopas and a friend are journeying from Jerusalem to a village seven miles away on the day of the Resurrection. They were not of the twelve, or rather now the eleven, but they were clearly close followers of Jesus and known to the eleven.  It’s a well-known story, one of misery turning to joy; desolation to elation. And it is a story many of us face in our own lives: when hopes and dreams are dashed, but then we find that things turn out well in the end.

Have you ever felt like you just had to get away? Have you ever been bitterly disappointed, when expectations have come to nothing? When you have felt let down? When it feels as if your world has turned to ashes? I expect we all have in one way or another and that is what Cleopas and his companion must have been feeling.  It was Easter day and it seems that these two disciples were off! Who can blame them? Jerusalem had proved to be a place of pain and loss; of death, unmet expectations and disappointment. As they made their way, they were talking about all the things that had happened, and, probably, the things that hadn’t turned out quite as they expected.  About Jesus’s arrest, crucifixion and death. They would have been disappointed, bewildered and sad. They had hoped Jesus was the one, but he was now dead. Surely there was nothing to keep them in Jerusalem, especially as they were not of the inner circle of disciples. Their lives had been shattered and there was the danger from the Jewish authorities too. They had heard the claims of Mary and the other women that an angel had told them of the Resurrection, but they were clearly doubtful and confused and felt the need to get away.

I don’t know why they chose to go to Emmaus or what they planned to do there. But went they did. Going to Emmaus was perhaps an escape from everything that had not gone right, or so they thought. 

But here again we find Jesus looking after his people. Jesus listened to their fears, then explained the scriptures and why the Messiah had to die. He steered them away from pain and misery and back to life. He surprised them and he showed that he was there for them and, actually, that he needed them.

How often Jesus surprises us. We feel that things are pretty dire – they certainly are in the World at present. We need, we long for so much, not just material things.  We need Jesus to be with us and to surprise us and to protect us.

“When Jesus was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him.” They recognised him as the one they had left for dead in Jerusalem. They recognised him as the one who had accompanied them on the road to Emmaus. They recognised him as the one they had hoped he would be.  Jesus wasn’t just giving them bread; he was giving them back themselves. This was their restoration, their resurrection perhaps. Jesus was supporting them with himself: with his body, his life, his love, his compassion, with all that he is and all that he has.

They returned to the place from which they had to get away. Cleopas and his companion arrived back in Jerusalem in the middle of the night with news of their Emmaus experience and when they got there, they heard that others had also had resurrection experiences of Jesus. Jesus was alive, seen, and present in Jerusalem.   They had left Jerusalem only that morning as a place of horror and death and they returned that evening to a place now full of joy and hope. Jesus had surprised them, Jesus had not left them, Jesus was there for them.

We do not hear of Cleopas again, but after such a tremendous experience of the risen Jesus one can only assume that he and his companion became part of that great missionary effort that spread Christianity so widely in such a short time. Cleopas and his friend had had their doubts satisfied. Their fears were overcome, they had seen the Risen Lord. And he had not let them go, he had a purpose for them and he brought them back to their Christian community. 

We all have doubts and fears. We all have to face losses and shattering events in our lives. The same Jesus who appeared to them is there in the background looking after us. Whatever we go through, he is there, whenever things are dark, he is there. We may not have quite the striking revelation as these two disciples did, but he can surprise us with his love.  I am reminded of the lines in the old hymn “Hark my Soul”, where it says – Sought me wandering, set me right, turned my darkness into light. Jesus surprises us and he brings us back – always has, always will. We all can and we all will have our own Emmaus experiences.  We can be comforted at all times by the words soon to come at the Ascension. “Be assured, I am with you always, to the end of time”. Amen

Bless the Lord, my soul  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4Svh-9ohg4

Prayers –  with thanks to Melody Skipp

Dear God,

Thank you for Jesus up above.

Thank you for kindness, hope and love.

Thank you for all the girls and boys,

Thank you for our homes and toys

Thank you for technology and every phone

That help to comfort those alone.

Be with the doctors who save our lives,

If people have the virus, please let them survive.

Please watch over everyone,

Please let the virus just be gone.

We are sorry for being bad,

Let us be happy and not sad.

Thank you for everyone and everything in our lives.

Amen

Please remember especially in your prayers through this week:

The Sick:  Alan Hay, Julia Holboro, Annie Kunz,  Lisa McTaggart,

Joan Pritchard, Johanna Procter,  Kevin Willoughby, Max Weston

Those who have died:  Mary Smith, Shelagh Cochrane, Norma Williams

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then they were glad when they saw the Lord, Alelluia.  The peace of the Lord be always with you: and also with you.

Be present, be present, Lord Jesus Christ, Our risen high priest;

Make yourself known in the breaking of bread

Hymn:  This joyful Eastertide  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7TFuqp97cs

         The Lord be with you

         and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

         We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

         It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right , our duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, almighty and eternal Father, and in these days of Easter to celebrate with joyful hearts the memory of your wonderful works.  For by the mystery of his passion, Jesus Christ, your risen Son, has conquered the powers of death and hell and restored to women and men the image of your glory.  He has placed us once more in paradise and opened to us the gate of life eternal.  And so, in the joy of this Passover, earth and heaven resound with gladness, while angels and archangels and the powers of all creation sing for ever the hymn of your glory.

         Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
+Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

         As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

         Our Father, who art in heaven,

         hallowed be thy name;

         thy kingdom come;

         thy will be done;

         on earth as it is in heaven.

         Give us this day our daily bread.

         And forgive us our trespasses,

         as we forgive those who trespass against us.

         And lead us not into temptation;

         But deliver us from evil.

         For thine is the kingdom,

         the power and the glory,

         for ever and ever.            

         Amen.

         The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the eternal covenant,
make you perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight;
and the blessing of God almighty,
+ the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.        Amen.

Hymn Jesus lives! Thy terrors now  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCz-HYIxmvE

Bach – Fugue in G minor BWV 578  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhRa3REdozw