Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lord, Have mercy

Tears have been falling, righteous anger is rising. Things in the neighborhood are very tough right now. Please pray and after you pray, please take steps to live your prayer.

For S.S, C.W., V.R., R.K.

Sermon post: Luke 24:13-25

The Prayer this morning will be both visual and spoken, so as we pray, I would like to ask you to keep your eyes open.

The Lord is with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray.

I lay out this cloth to signify that this place, this space, is holy and set apart. This marks an altar to God. God, we come to your holy place, in awe of who you are…you are holy, you are mighty, you are full of glory, worthy of praise and honor. You are our provider, healer, comforter, peacemaker, and guide. We come to you this morning, full: full of images and words, full of heartbreak for the world around us. This week alone, we have been witness to so much pain, grief, and scorn. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the injustice and oppression in our world, the wars between nations and peoples, the hatred tearing your children apart. All we know to do, God, is to lay these things down at your altar. That’s all we know to do. And so we lay them down at your Holy feet….

Place Newspapers or papers on cloth that say : Osama Bin Laden, War, Poverty, Violence, Politics, Natural Disasters

Mother’s day flowers that look sort of like something that’d be on a head stone

Money, grenade, gun

We call on you to let your Kingdom come.

Papers placed on cloth saying; Peace, Light, Justice, Truth, comfort, Joy, Reconciliation, Kingdom of God on Earth.

Come and bring your peace. Come, bring your light. Come, bring your Justice. Come, bring your truth. Come, bring your comfort. Come, bring your joy. Come, make us reconciled to one another. Come, make us your people once more. May your Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

We pray this in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Choir Amen.

Luke 24:13-35

(While taking everything off of the communion table table)

There are times in our lives when all we want to do…all we can do is get away. Toss out the junk. Get rid of the mess. Pack up our bags. Get out of town. Go. Find some place safe. Some place away. Some kind of clean slate. Some kind of get away. For if we don’t…if we don’t change up the pace, have a chance to breathe, count to ten, take a walk around the block, get in the car and drive…if we don’t escape or find respite or make room in our lives for something else…if we don’t get out, get up, or just get…if we don’t, we’ll be likely to blow.

(While placing the cloth on the table (the one that signified the altar earlier in the prayer))

More often than not, when we get to that point, whether we know it or not, our escape is really a search. A search for something Holy…something whole…something peaceful…something right…something comforting….something refreshing and renewing. Something bigger and greater than ourselves…something that can set us free.

(While placing the papers from the prayer onto the table)

We go searching for something that will set us free from the world around us…the stress that has built up… the rut we’ve gotten ourselves into…set us free from our frustrations at work….our family conflicts and drama…set us free from our pain…set us free from the suffering we see in the world, the injustice we hear about in the news and at the office. We go searching for something that will fill the void left by loss of hope, loss of faith, loss of life.

(Crouch under the table and pretend it is a tent, holding the top of the table up with my arms)

Some of us bunker down in our houses. We create a fort, a shelter for retreat…we batten down the hatches, tie our tent stakes down and hide out until we see the light of day.

(Get up and start walking away)

Others of us run away…we might go by ourselves or we might grab a friend and go…either way, we’re getting out of dodge.

(Stop moving and just talk for a minute)

That’s what the two were doing that day on the path from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They’d seen and had enough. Three days had passed and Jesus was dead. These two, with heads down, ready to throw in the towel, they decided to take a long walk to the next town to clear their heads. On the way, all they could talk about was what had happened…Rehashing the events that led up to the trial and crucifixion…going over every detail again and again.

It was on this journey that they encountered Jesus, the Risen Christ.

Current Events: war, economics, unemployment, violence, oppression, militarism, nationalism, killing, prejudice, selfishness, and greed mixed with what seems to be crisis after crisis in my own neighborhood: kids going to jail, power getting cut off, neighbors fighting, people hungry and scared and lonely…all this mess is just about to drive me mad. People have gone mad and they’re about to take me with them. It is almost too much to bear. I’m about ready to hide or run…one or the other. Aren’t you?

Jesus meets the two on the road, but they do not recognize them. They don’t see that it is him. Oblivious as they are, there is something left of them that is still pure. They extend a hospitable invitation and invite this man to walk with them. Along the way, they start talking. Sometimes conversation, honest and intimate communication, is some of the best healing medicine. They walk and talk and listen as Jesus opens up the faith stories and scripture to them.

(Start setting the dinner table: (plates, cups, forks, napkins, chalice, plate with bread))

Before long, they had come to the place they had set out for. And when they got there, they extended yet another hand of hospitality to the man who walked the road with them. When they got to Emmaus, they said, ‘Stay with us. It is almost night. You’ll be welcome here. You’ll be more comfortable here. Come and eat. Stay.” And Jesus Did.

(Act this part out)

When the dinner was ready, Jesus sat down at the table with them. Then, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it. It was in the breaking of the bread that their eyes were finally opened and they recognized him. They remembered. They remembered…

(Place Cross and Candles back on table….)

They remembered and recognized him and he vanished from their sight.

Looking back on the journey, they recognized that it was Jesus who had been with them all along, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”

In that very hour, they got up and walked back to where they came from, 7 miles back to Jerusalem in the dark…once they got there, they immediately found the other friends of Jesus and told them what had happened. “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon! It is true! He is alive! We saw him! Here’s what happened. He broke the bread with us and opened our eyes. We remembered!”

Fellow Journeyors on the road, fellow pilgrims and searchers….Remember…Christ is Risen! He is Alive! It is true! The bread has been broken before us. Remember and be made new. Remember.

Now, run back…go quickly….and tell the others…show the others…demonstrate to others…He is Alive!