Third Sunday after Easter- Week of April 26, 2020
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Collects: Contemporary, Book of Common Prayer, p. 224)
Adult and Small Child
Read: Luke 24:13-35
Reflect: How do you know the adults in your family? Is it their faces, their voices, or the way they laugh or smell? Knowing who they are is a natural thing because of your connection to them. You are theirs and they are yours. When you have a close connection with someone, you have different ways of recognizing them. After Jesus’ resurrection, two of his disciples were traveling on the road to a place called Emmaus, but as he walked with them they didn’t know who he was. This is very interesting because they were men who had followed Jesus closely! But once they sat down to eat and Jesus prayed, they immediately knew it was him! It was as if their eyes had suddenly been opened, but as soon as they realized it, Jesus was gone. We belong to God, and God belongs to us. As we grow closer to God every day, we will know God and God will make Godself known to us - just like the disciples in Emmaus.
Respond: How well do you know the faces of the people you know? Try this: ask some trusted adults to show you photos of them when they are younger. Do you recognize them? How can you tell who is in the pictures?
- Quantrilla Ard
Adult and Elementary
Reflect: My Papaw would bake bread almost every day. As a child, one of my favorite things was to run over to his house in the afternoon and snack on a thick slice of still-warm bread, butter melting into the crumbs. One day, I stopped by when the bread was still dough. I asked to taste a bite. Cookie dough was good, I reasoned. Cake batter licked off the spoon was delicious, so certainly bread dough would be the same. I was wrong. The sticky mass, sour and salty from the still-developing yeast, clung to my tongue. How could anything so gross turn into the spongy, comforting afternoon snack I loved so much?
The story of the friends on the way to Emmaus reminds me of baking bread. The travelers are confused and anxious, unsure about what Jesus’ death means and doubtful of the stories that he is alive again. Everything is unclear until Jesus breaks bread and they recognize him. There are times in our lives that are similarly uncertain and terrible, until they’re not. Like bread rising, the circumstances don’t seem like much until we look up and notice things are not at all what we thought they were.
Respond: Bake a loaf of bread together. Baking requires mindful measurement of ingredients and lots of patience—just like partnering with Jesus in the Kingdom of God. If your family has a favorite bread recipe, use that one! If you don’t, try this one:
Dissolve 1½ tablespoons of yeast and 1 tablespoon of honey together in 3 cups of lukewarm water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Watch as small foamy bubbles form at the top, this is the yeast working! Measure 6½ cups of flour and 2 teaspoons of salt into a big mixing bowl. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour until it makes a dough. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rise for at least 2 hours. After the dough rises, divide it into two loaves. Let the loaves rise for another 45 minutes. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Megan Westra
Adult and Youth
Read: Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Reflect: When Jesus ascended to heaven and gave his final charge to the disciples, he told them “…But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26, NRSV) In that time, many people were awaiting the arrival of the Messiah; Peter was teaching the crowd that Jesus was the Messiah people were looking for and Jesus came to save people from their sins. Through our faith in Jesus we have the Holy Spirit, and advocate, at work in our lives. This is the beauty of coming to know Jesus and trusting him with our lives. He is the Messiah, the one who has saved us from our sins, and through him we have eternal life and gain brothers and sisters in Christ. With our belief in Jesus, we get to build a relationship with him through reading our Bible and learning more about his teachings and how we should live and love others.
Respond: Pray this prayer of reflection: “Jesus, thank you for saving me from my sins and giving me a new life in you. Help me to share this love with others each day.” Write 3 ways you can show kindness to people today.
- Faitth Brooks
Adult and Adults
Read: Luke 24:13-35
Reflect: When someone you love and know dies, life as you know it instantly changes. At first you may experience shock, disbelief, or be overwhelmed with grief. As you go forward your mind can be like a sieve; it’s hard to focus, stay attentive, and make decisions. Learning to live in this new normal, from what you know to what will be, is a large part of what we now call grief “work.” This is the place the disciples in Luke’s passage were walking through. Their chief priests and leaders had crucified Jesus and they were trying to make sense of it all. In this confused fugue like state they encounter the risen Christ but do not recognize him at first. It is only after they sit at the table together that Jesus takes the bread, blesses it, breaks it and gives it to them that “their eyes were opened and they recognized him.” (Luke 24:30, NRSV) In Spiritual practice when we are moving from one place or one state of being to another, it is known as liminal space. This is sacred space. Father Richard Rohr calls it “God’s waiting room.” It is a place where, broken open by an experience, new growth and transformation can begin in us. In this Easter season when we go to the table and receive bread blessed and broken for us, may our eyes be opened to the risen Christ.
Respond: There is so much in this Bible passage! Reread Luke 24:30-31. Spend some time silently hearing every word as you read it. Then, think about the rites of passage you have experienced such as graduation, marriage, the birth or adoption of a child or grandchild, the death of a family member, leaving or losing a job, or moving to a new area. Note which were easy for you and which were more challenging. Then, consider what receiving the Eucharist meant to you during these times. Open your heart to the ways Jesus was made known to you in the breaking of the bread. Journal about any insights that are given to you during this time.
- Jan Schroeder
Download a printable copy of this week's devotions HERE.