Sunday 8th June is Pentecost Sunday and Archdeacon John Reed will be with us. During the service we will broadcast a sermon given by Rt. Revd Peter Hancock, the new Bishop of Bath and Wells. The Bishop is being installed at Wells Cathedral on 7th June.
Tickets can be obtained from the Cathedral Office.
Our social team have been working hard and the meal at China China was a great success. The food, company and ambience were really good and a very enjoyable evening was had. Thank you to all who came and gave our new social programme a great start.
The Social Team have decided to give the social events we organise a generic name. From now onwards we will call the social happenings “Signature Events” – so, the next Signature Event is the train and ferry trip to Topsham on Tuesday 1st July. After that the Signature Events we are arranging include a church picnic in August at Kilve, ten pin bowling in September and afternoon tea in Mr Miles early in the new year.
The trips are open to everyone and all that is required is that you sign up at the back of church (hence the use of the term “A Signature Event“) and pay at the bookshop.
There will be no meeting in church this Wednesday 4th June as there is an outing to the Walled Gardens of Cannington. Please note that the meeting on the 2nd of July will be in the Vicarage at 2.00pm as the church will be occupied by the Diocese. It is important that we do not arrive before 1.45 pm as there is another meeting before then. Our speakers Diane Bayliss & Margaret Austin will talk about their visit to Zambia.
“… their eyes were opened and they recognised him” (v.31) RSV
The story of the couple on their way home from Jerusalem to Emmaus is most beautifully and suggestively told. Their dejection and negativity is turned into an energetic return journey. As they had been walking home the risen Jesus drew alongside, engaged in conversation and then taught them that the scriptures (Old Testament) foretold his life, death and resurrection. Their spirits were excited by this cracking open of the scriptures. They were later to acknowledge, “Did not our hearts burn within us as he …” (v.32).
But it took more than a sermon to open their eyes to the presence of Jesus in their midst. Fortunately their hospitable attitude caused them to compel Jesus to stay over with them. If they had not pressed him he would have gone on and the moment of revelation would have been lost. As it was he stayed. At the moment of ‘fraction’ (the breaking of bread) their eyes were opened.
Was it the scars in his hands or (more likely) the familiar action of breaking bread and giving thanks? Something triggered recognition.
Many of us may have heard great sermons (see next week’s reading), yet sometimes it is not words that speak to us, but rather it is actions. The sacrament of Holy Communion (the Breaking of Bread) can bring the risen Christ to us in a special and unique way. Not every believer’s church offers Communion often, and some not at all. But all of us should try, whether in home of church, to meet with others and break bread together in remembrance of him. We shall then meet with him through that action: our eyes will be opened.
Thank you Lord for the gift of the Bread and Wine. May I never take these gifts for granted but avail myself of the opportunity to meet with you in that special way. Amen.
“… they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered …” (Luke 24:41) RSV
Each week we are observing how people have difficulty recognising the risen Jesus. No longer is he recognised purely by his outward appearance. Each person knows him by faith, not by sight. Our passage is no exception. In Luke, it says, “… they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered …” (v.41). Why should there be any reason to “disbelieve”?
Certainly, they were not expecting the resurrection of their dead hero. They had not believed his prediction that he would rise on the third day. To see him standing before them was a wonder, since the impossible had happened. But they also “disbelieved” (v.41) because they had no idea that their God could do such wonderful things for them. How often are our minds filled with what we expect God to do and what we think he can do? We can so easily limit God’s goodness. He really can do impossible things for us. They are not too good to be true.
John gives a more definite response from the disciples: “Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” (John 20:20) What a joy and gladness it was that all was well. The end of Jesus on the cross was not the end. The death of Jesus had become the gateway through to something far better. This applies to our lives, both in this age (on earth) and in the age to come (in heaven). God’s nature is to break through and do wonderful things that make us glad, oh so glad!
No one is too bad or too lost, and no situation is too far gone that God cannot turn it around. “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
You are a great and mighty God, doing more than I can ask or think. Increase my faith and trust, and let me see you work. Amen.
Note the three occasions that Jesus predicted his resurrection.