Third Sunday of Easter Lessons and Brief Meditation

FIRST READING:  Acts 2:14a, 36-41   [GOOD NEWS: “The One you killed offers you life!”]
Suddenly emboldened in that room when the Holy Spirit came on that day of Pentecost, Peter concludes his preaching outside to the crowd that gathered. He accuses the people, this world, of crucifying Jesus, but proclaims that God has used that to make Jesus both Lord and Messiah (or, in the Greek language, Christ). Peter urges those who have remorse to repent and be baptized… and about 3,000 are baptized that day. Peter adds more to his message: he urges them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Peter is not telling the community of faith to live in isolation from those who do not follow the teachings of Christ. Peter expects the new believers to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and to be empowered to reach out to others in the name and the spirit and the mission of Jesus, living faithfully, loving fervently. Admit a need for repentance. Ask forgiveness. Share your joy; share another’s pain; share the good news of Jesus with others. Live into the new life that the Crucified One has gifted you with, that the Holy Spirit assists you with! 

SECOND READING:  1 Peter 1:17-23   [GOOD NEWS: “Through Christ, you are reborn to hope.”]
The author reminds those who in the Christian community to remember who and whose they are as they face the stresses and the temptations of life. In other words, act like someone who knows he or she is loved. How does one do that? Live in reverent fear, humble respect, for God. Never forget the cost of God’s love for you, the sacrificed blood of Jesus. Set your faith and your hope on God. Purify your soul by your obedience to the truth of God’s love in Christ, and practice this obedience through your own deep and disciplined commitment to practice genuine mutual love. 

GOSPEL READING:   Luke 24:13-35    [GOOD NEWS: “The Lord has risen indeed!”]
This marvelous story takes us on a journey with two disciples – perhaps a husband and wife – traveling downhill toward the setting sun, from Jerusalem to their home in Emmaus on that first Easter eve. They are overcome with sadness, loss, and disappointment over the recent crucifixion of Jesus… and they are not encouraged or convinced by stories of angels or empty tombs. Then a stranger appears and walks with them, speaking about the scriptures along the way. It isn’t until the stranger sits at their table, takes and breaks the bread, and offers it to them that they recognize that the stranger is Jesus – risen and alive! Their hearts were set afire by his presence and his power!

A BRIEF MEDITATION

It’s not just two disciples of centuries ago in Palestine who have lost hope, been discouraged, felt conquered in spirit, and walked away from a seemingly dead faith toward the sunset, back into the “real world”. Modern disciples, this is also our story. Isn’t it so lonely out there on our “road to Emmaus” as we drag along in sadness and disappointment, in confusion and doubt? We had hoped that Jesus would bring us redemption… that he would make our lives more meaningful and joyful… but now he is dead, crucified, gone. Or is he? EASTER is God full of surprises, asking us to believe the unbelievable, accept the unacceptable, fear no death, trust, and tell that Jesus is alive. Are you dead or alive? Your resurrection is at hand. As we encounter the Risen Christ along “the dusty road of lost causes”, may our hearts burn, may the scriptures inspire us, may the broken and blessed bread sustain us. Then let’s get back on our feet and on our way to go and share the good news of God’s love with others!

Lord Jesus, come to us, even unexpectedly as a stranger. Make yourself known to us as we journey on life’s road. Explain the stories that we think we know so well. Let our hearts burn within us when we are at the table with you. Change our plans to fit and to share your new story that has embraced us.    Amen.

Upcoming Events

Jun
19
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jun 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jun
23
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jun
30
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
3
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
5
Fri
2024
8:30 am Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Jul 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Check out the Senior Food Program’s page for more information.