Reflections and Prayers 3rd Sunday of Easter - 18th April
This week's readings can be found here Luke 24.36b-48
Reflection - Scarred and Hungry
The two disciples had just arrived back from Emmaus and are telling their story of meeting Jesus with the others in Jerusalem. You could imagine the reaction of those people, amazement, disbelief, exhilaration and relief. A great deal of mixed emotions. And then what happens, Jesus appears to them all. Is he real, are they imagining him, maybe he’s a ghost or a zombie. Jesus realises that he needs to convince them and so he shows them his hands and feet. Usually you recognise someone by their smile, or hair or their eyes, it might be their build, or height that you would spot in a crowd, but not someone’s hands or feet. Now, I know that we all have individual fingerprints and I am sure that some of you have something a bit quirky about a finger or a toe, I know that I have strange toes. Fred has an odd thumb nail and I remember saying that if someone was going to try and clone Fred and pass the cloned person off as Fred I am sure that they wouldn’t remember the thumb nail and that I would be able to spot the fake person straight away.
For Jesus it was showing the scars, the scars of life. Wounds are not pretty and the wounds of life hurt just as much as the bleeding wounds of a cut. Jesus didn’t hide his wounded hands and feet which would have been bloody and broken, and being a follower of Jesus does not mean that our wounds should be hidden, they probably tell a story and a holy story at that.
Jesus also showed that he was hungry, now how many ghosts or zombies would want food to eat. By asking for something to eat, nothing elaborate for him a simple piece of fish, the disciples began to loose their fear and wanted to get close, maybe Jesus had something to say to them. By the end of listening to what Jesus said, they had turned from a group of frightened, unsure, desperate people into a group of people who saw their future to be able to witness to others, to have a life of ministry for Jesus. Hospitality is still difficult at this time, it has to be outside, only 6 people, still socially distanced, and we don’t know definitely that this will change. Coffee and cake after church is not going to happen anytime soon, so we will all need to think outside the box about what hospitality will need to be. A piece of cake and a chat on the doorstep of someone who is by themselves. As it gets warmer our gardens could be places of hospitality.
When the disciples fed Jesus, he in return fed them, they started out with suspicion, but ended with their eyes being opened and the resurrected Jesus came alive to them.
Jesus was scarred and hungry but he was still able to open their minds and enable them to see the risen Jesus. May we also see the risen Christ and know his peace and help others to know that peace as well.
by Mary Ann Bernard
Long, long, long ago;
Way before this winter’s snow
First fell upon these weathered fields; I used to sit and watch and feel And dream of how the spring would be, When through the winter’s stormy sea She’d raise her green and growing head, Her warmth would resurrect the dead.
Long before this winter’s snow I dreamt of this day’s sunny glow And thought somehow my pain would pass With winter’s pain, and peace like grass Would simply grow. (But) The pain’s not gone. It’s still as cold and hard and long As lonely pain has ever been,
It cuts so deep and fear within.
Long before this winter’s snow I ran from pain, looked high and low For some fast way to get around Its hurt and cold. I’d have found, If I had looked at what was there, That things don’t follow fast or fair. That life goes on, and times do change, And grass does grow despite life’s pains.
Long before this winter’s snow I thought that this day’s sunny glow, The smiling children and growing things And flowers bright were brought by spring. Now, I know the sun does shine, That children smile, and from the dark, cold, grime A flower comes. It groans, yet sings, And through its pain, its peace begins.
To Pray for
The Royal Family as they prepare for Prince Philip's funeral which will take place this Saturday.
The victims and families of those kidnapped just off the coast of Benin
The families of those who have been brutually murdered, give them courage over the coming days, weeks and months ahead and hope they find peace and answers.
God of our lives,
we give thanks for the life of Prince Philip,
for his love of our country,
and for his devotion to duty.
We entrust him now to your love and mercy,
through our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Duke's funeral will be broadcast across radio and TV on the BBC on Saturday, April 17 and The Telegraph will be livestreaming it. Coverage will begin before the 3pm service.
ITV will also show the funeral from 1.15pm, with schedules returning to normal from 4.30pm.