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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter evening for all years Luke 24

Every year the easter evening lectionary post is Luke 24:14-36. Two unnamed disciples seemingly accidentally stumble upon Jesus, but they do not recognize him. This passage is so easy to preach. How many preaching paths can you count? I have preached it many different ways, but tonight the act of hospitality by the disciples stood out to me.
I know it was the culture to invite someone in to stay. I know it is accepted, but Jesus dealt with some who did not even show him cultural civility. Remember the dude who did not offer him water to wash his feet nor oil for his head, so a woman came in and washed his feet with her tears?

So Jesus sits down at the table with them, breaks bread, and immediately they recognize him. He disappears. I can see them looking under the table, outside the house, on the roof, everywhere and puzzling. Then they realize they must tell everyone & they run back to Jerusalem. In the dark. Didn't anyone tell them it's not safe to travel the road to Jerusalem in the dark? The excitement of seeing the risen Christ cast out their fears.

And Jesus showed up in Jerusalem too. His way of transporting certainly beat foot travel.

Nanny McPhee & Nanny McPhee returns are movies in Mary Poppins style that tell the story of a Nanny who comes when a family needs her. Her rule is, "When you need me and don't want me, I have to stay. When you want me and don't need me, I have to go."

I was reminded of this while reading this passage tonight. The disciples certainly wanted Jesus to hang around after he was resurrected. But they did not need him. He had prepared them well, and he prepared them further when his physical absence allowed the holy spirit to be sent.

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