Sunday, April 20
Daily Office: Exodus 12:1-14 ¨ Psalm 148 ¨ John 1:1-18 ¨ Luke 24:13-35
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him . . .
— Luke 24:30-31
The Jews of the early first century were watching for the Messiah, and many expected a warrior king like their ancient hero, King David. The Messiah would come and end the oppressive reign of the Romans and thereby redeem Israel.
So imagine the crushing disappointment when he was captured and executed.
Almost immediately, however, Jesus' followers started seeing him; the women first, on the morning of the third day after he died, then some of the other disciples. That same day, in the evening, two of his followers, leaving sad Jerusalem, encountered a stranger who opened the scriptures to them.
The stranger consented to stay with them and then he blessed the bread and broke it.
As Jesus' followers gathered and shared stories of their encounters with the resurrected Jesus, they began to remember what Jesus had said and done. They began to reinterpret their expectations about the Anointed One, away from the warrior king toward the Prince of Peace. They shared and wrote down the sayings of Jesus, realized his was not an earthly reign of an independent nation, but that he proclaimed the Reign of God among us.
We've just completed the somber 40 day walk of lent and now begin the joyous 50 day journey of Easter. As our voices sing and shout alleluias, let our eyes look not for the redemption of sword and might, but instead watch for the glory revealed in breaking bread.
- Neil Orts
Neil Orts has been attending St. Stephen's since January of 2012 and joined in August of 2013. He is serving on the planning team of the new Word & Table service.