Apr 24, 2017

Emmaus Road: Call to Worship

Here’s an introduction, call to worship and opening prayer for Easter 3 Year A, where the story of Jesus’ encounter with the disciples on the road to Emmaus is explored (Luke 24:13-35). It appears on Craig Mitchell’s Mountain Masala website.

Opening of Worship
(inspired by the events in Luke 24:13-35)

Easter is not an event that has occurred
it's an adventure that has begun
not a place that we have visited
but a path on which we stand

a story not complete, but unfolding
characters still breathing
stations still teeming
with the promise of new life
not just for you and me
but for all people, in all places

a cosmic crux
a turning point of time

Easter is the season
of wild hope
of dangerous intent
of potent promise

where the future flaps unfurled
in the spirit’s breeze

where hopes bubble
with uncorked effervescence

where toes tap
to free-form rhythms

where rainbow hues
splash empty canvas

we continue the journey
we re-enter the story
to explore our questions
to uncover our doubts
to face our nagging need

We walk the path
of two who traveled a dusty road
wrapped in confusion and despair
two who shared the company of a stranger
voicing their pain
airing their fears
and in the listening
heard words of hope and promise
and in the eating
received true bread of life

Tonight we re-enter the story
with expectation that Christ
will also reveal himself to us
in sights and sounds
in words and symbols
in bread and wine

Let us pray

Risen Christ
walk with us this night
be our companion and guide
be our teacher and friend
be our host and servant
bringing your gifts of faith, peace and hope
and deep joy
as always

~ words by Craig Mitchell (2005) & Iona Community. In “Emmaus Worship Service,” posted on Mountain Masala: Exploring Spirituality, Culture, Media and Cuisine.”  http://craigmitchell.typepad.com/mountain_masala/files/Emmaus%20Worship%20Service.pdf

Prayer: You Break In

Here’s a prayer from Roddy Hamilton’s Mucky Paws website. 

You Break In

You break in, O God,
on the road
you break in, O God,
exactly the way we don’t believe
you break in, O God,
and change everything

You break in, O God
with a call
you break in, O God
with an invitation
you break in, O God
with the truth

You break in, O God
with a new realm
You break in, O God
with a new world
You break in, O God
with your intent for the future

God, break in again
and call us to be your workers
God, break in again
and use the gifts we are to build your realm
God, break in again
and change our world once more.

~ written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Mucky Paws. http://www.nkchurch.org.uk/index.php/mucky-paws

Emmaus Offering Prayer

Here’s a prayer of dedication inspired by the events of Luke 24:13-35. It was written by Carol Penner, and posted on Leading in Worship.

Offering Prayer
(inspired by Luke 24:13-35)

Like the disciples at Emmaus,
we offer what we have.
They offered their company,
their table, their bread.
We invite you to be with us, Jesus, 
as we offer you our love,
our devotion, these gifts.
May our eyes be opened
to your holy presence among us, 
now and always.  Amen.

~ written by Carol Penner, and posted on Leading in Worship. http://carolpenner.typepad.com/leadinginworship/

Prayer: Warm our hearts

Here’s a prayer of commitment inspired by Luke 24:13-35, where the two disciples encounter Jesus on the road to Emmaus. It was posted on the Christian Aid website.

(inspired by Luke 24:13-35)

'Then their eyes were opened,
and they recognized him.' (Luke 24:31)

Living Jesus, 
whose presence on our daily road 
we often fail to see; 
warm our hearts with fresh confidence in your Word, 
so that, in making room for the stranger beside us, 
we find your hospitality awaiting us, 
and the reassurance of your presence 
to inspire us to tread the road again 
and to share the good news of your resurrection life. 

~ posted on the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website. http://www.christianaid.org.uk/

Reflection: The Servant Girl at Emmaus

Here’s a reflection on the Emmaus event (Luke 24:13-35). It was written by Denise Levertov, and posted on Journey with Jesus.

The Servant Girl at Emmaus
(inspired by Luke 24:13-35)

She listens, listens, holding
her breath. Surely that voice
is his—the one
who had looked at her, once, across the crowd,
as no one ever had looked?
Had seen her? Had spoken as if to her?

Surely those hands were his,
taking the platter of bread from hers just now?
Hands he'd laid on the dying and made them well?

Surely that face—?

The man they'd crucified for sedition and blasphemy.
The man whose body disappeared from its tomb.
The man it was rumored now some women had seen
    this morning, alive?

Those who had brought this stranger home to their table
don't recognize yet with whom they sit.
But she in the kitchen, absently touching
   the wine jug she's to take in,
a young Black servant intently listening,

swings round and sees
the light around him
and is sure.

~ written by Denise Levertov (1923–1997). Posted on Journey with Jesus. http://www.journeywithjesus.net/poemsandprayers/631-denise-levertov-servant-girl