Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday Worship April 26

Join us for our Sunday worship this week. The links are below.

Morning Worship Podcast        Morning Worship Service sheet
Evensong Podcast                    Evensong Service sheet

For those who can't use the internet, there is now a "dial a podcast" service, giving access by phone to the reading, talk and prayer from each Sunday morning's service. Please pass on the phone number to them - 01732 928061. Calls cost the normal rate for dialing an 01732 (Sevenoaks) number.

There will be a Zoffee - a Zoom Coffee meeting - at 11 am this morning. Drop in and say hello!
email for the link and password.

Today's morning service focusses on the story of two tired disciples on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus, who are joined by a stranger as they walk along. We discover early on that he is Jesus, but they don't realise until he breaks bread with them at the end of the day. On the journey, though, he has explained to them how the death of Jesus could be part of God's plan, not the terrible disaster they have taken it for.

Why don't they recognise Jesus (this is a common theme in the resurrection appearances)? The implication of the Bible is that seeing Jesus for who he is takes more than just good eyesight - we also have to have the eyes of our hearts open, to be on the look out for him, ready to see him in the people and events we encounter.

There have been many paintings of the scenes in the story. The one I used to illustrate the podcast is attributed to Francois Verdier. It wasn't one I was familiar with, but I loved the energy in it, the sense that these disciples are completely caught up in the discussion they are having with Jesus as the penny starts to drop and their hearts start to lift.

Have you ever had conversations like this?
What made them special?

Probably the most famous depiction of this story is that by Caravaggio (there was another painting by him in last Sunday's blog post), which shows the moment when the disciples recognise Jesus "in the breaking of the bread" as the story puts it. Why then? Perhaps it is the familiarity of the gesture - something they've seen him do many times before - but again, their recognition has as much to do with what has been going on in their hearts as in their eyesight.

 This painting, part of the "Jesus Mafa" project comes from Cameroon. Local artists produced a series of paintings of Gospel stories set in their own time and place. (More about the project, and other paintings ) . Caravaggio, of course, had done the same thing, setting the stories in seventeenth century Italy - the clothes the disciples are wearing aren't first century Palestinian!

Imagine sharing a meal with Jesus in your own kitchen or dining room. How would you paint the scene? 

In the prayers in today's morning podcast, I included a prayer/poem which is special to me, one which I turned into an embroidery which hangs in the vicarage hallway. I thought you might like to see a
picture of it.
The text reads
I met a stranger yestere'en
I put food in the eating place,
drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place.
And in the sacred name of the Triune
he blessed myself and my house
my cattle and my dear ones
And the lark sang in her song
Often, often, often
comes Christ in the stranger's guise.

Where might you meet "Christ in the stranger's guise" today?  Perhaps, to find him, you will need to look at everyone you encounter (in the flesh or online or on the phone) as if they might be Christ. I wonder how it would change our view of people if we did that all the time? 

All Age Ideas

  • I made a video earlier this week, telling the story of the road to Emmaus. You can find it on this blog here.

  • Make some "foot" art to remind you that Jesus always walks beside you. You could draw round your own feet, or the feet of everyone in your household, and decorate the drawings. You could make footprints with paint. You could make a poster to stick in your window with footprints on it, to thank those who are "going the extra mile" to help us at this time, walking alongside us - that might cheer up the postmen and women and delivery drivers who are bringing us the things we need. 
  • Invite Jesus to dinner with you. Make an invitation. Set a place at the table. Think about what you might give him to eat, and what you would want to talk about with him. How does it feel to do this? 
If you make something that you would like to share, take a photo of it and send it to me, and I will put it on our church social media. 

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