Our Walk to Emmaus
Sunday Service with Communion
April 26, 2020
Responsive Call to Worship
One: We come from many places, following different roads.
All: We come hungering for greater understanding.
One: We come to hear the wisdom of Scripture.
All: We come seeking companions in the faith.
One: We come to discover the One revealed in the breaking of the bread.
All: We come to grow as disciples of Christ.
One: Come, let us worship God, made known in Christ Jesus.
Hymn: We are One
WE ARE ONE AS WE COME, AS WE COME
JOYFUL TO BE HERE IN THE PRAISE ON OUR LIPS
THERE’S A SENSE THAT GOD IS NEAR
WE ARE ONE AS WE SING AS WE SEEK, WE ARE FOUND
AND WE COME NEEDFUL OF GOD’S GRACE
AS WE MEET TOGETHER IN THIS PLACE
WE ARE ONE AS WE SHARE, AS WE SHARE BROKENNESS AND FEAR
IN THE TOUCH OF A HAND THERE’S A SENSE THAT GOD IS HERE
WE ARE ONE AS WE CARE, AS WE HEAL, WE ARE HEALED
AND WE SHARE WARMTH IN GOD’S EMBRACE
AS WE PRAY TOGETHER IN THIS PLACE
WE ARE ONE AS WE FEAST, AS WE FEAST, PEACE BECOMES THE SIGN
IN THE BREAD AND THE WINE THERE’S A SENSE OF LOVE DIVINE
WE ARE ONE AS WE COME AS WE FEED, WE ARE FED
AND WE FEEL GOD’S REFRESHING GRACE AS WE MEET AT TABLE IN THIS PLACE
Prayer of Adoration and Confession
God of heaven and earth,
we rejoice in the hope revealed with Easter’s light.
Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
we see beyond all doubt that nothing exists beyond your saving power.
You work within our brokenness, limitation and loss to bring new life.
You have overcome even death,
promising us and all creation the power of your transforming love
and the gift of new beginnings.
God of resurrecting power,
it is by Easter’s light that we worship this day.
In that light, we dare to believe, to trust, to risk and to pray
in the name of our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
God of majesty and mercy, even as we offer you our praise,
we confess we often seek darkness rather than Easter’s revealing light.
We forget the new beginnings Christ offers us and cling to our old ways.
Forgive us for failing to recognize Christ’s presence with us in the midst of our sorrows. Hear us now as we confess in silence those times we have failed to live by Easter’s light.
(Silence for 10 seconds) Amen
Assurance of Pardon
Friends, know that in Christ, you have been born anew through the power of the living God. You are forgiven and set free by God’s redeeming love. Be at peace with God, with yourself and with one another...
Prayer for Understanding
God of the Living Word, you come to us in sacred story, in bread broken and wine poured out, in friendship and in conversation. Send us your Holy Spirit as your Word is read. May our hearts burn within us as we encounter your truth, through Christ, our Risen Lord. Amen.
1 Peter 1:17-23
17 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile.
18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.
20 He was destined before the foundation of the world but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.
21 Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.
22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart.
23 You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,
14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened.
15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them,
16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
17 And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad.
18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?"
19 He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,
20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him.
21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place.
22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning,
23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive.
24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him."
25 Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared!
26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?"
27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on.
29 But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.
32 They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?"
33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together.
34 They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!"
35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Our Walk to Emmaus – Luke 24:13-35
The event described in this passage from Luke’s gospel is meant to remind us to open our eyes and see what God desires to share with us – even at times when we find it most difficult to imagine what could be beyond today? The days following the events of what have come to know as Good Friday and Easter were uncertain for any of Jesus’ followers.
Yet we find two people whom we discover are part of the community of believers willing to allow a stranger to join them on their walk to their village called Emmaus. Their conversation was probably not uncommon for that time as it would be natural to want to puzzle out the events that had just transpired in Jerusalem.
Jesus asks them what they are talking about. Not recognizing him they are amazed that he could have been in Jerusalem and yet remained unaware of all the events that occurred.
They then begin to relate to him the events of Jesus’ life – a great prophet who was delivered up by the leaders of the people to be condemned to death. They share their hope that he would be the one to redeem the people. They also tell him that this Jesus had predicted his resurrection from the dead but when the women went to the tomb they found it empty with no sign of a body.
It is at this point that Jesus begins to explain to them the plan of God for the redemption of the people. But even at this point they still were not able to see that he was the risen Jesus.
As they drew near to Emmaus, they saw that he was intending to go further. But as the day was drawing to a close, they invited this stranger who had shared such wonderful teaching with them to come in and stay with them. Tomorrow was a new day and the stranger could continue his journey then.
Then he did something uncharacteristic of a stranger at someone else’s table. He took the bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them. No words were spoken except the words of blessing but in that moment, they recognized that the one who had journeyed with them that day was the Lord himself. At that moment, he vanished from their sight. He did not need to say another word. He had spoken all the words they needed to hear while walking with them on the road.
As they reflected on the experience of that walk, they remembered that the words had touched their hearts and spirits in a way probably reminiscent of the times they had heard Jesus speak during his earthly ministry. They knew at that moment that the prediction of his resurrection from the dead was true. Immediately they returned to Jerusalem to share with the inner circle of disciples what they experienced.
At each appearance of Jesus, there are different signs given by Jesus to reassure the disciples of the truth of his resurrection. We have the appearance to Mary in the garden, a touching personal moment between Jesus and the woman who history tells us loved him more than any other; we have the appearance to Thomas whose boldness in wanting to touch the risen Christ is granted by Jesus in order that Thomas and others should not believe him to be a ghostly apparition; Jesus prepares a fire and waits for the disciples to come on shore and shares a meal of fish with them and in the passage that follows our lesson today, Jesus asks for a piece of fish to eat so that it may never be said that he was a fake.
All together these witnesses give us a picture of a God who broke back into history after the crucifixion in ways that would touch the hearts of the disciples and reassure them not only that he was truly alive but that every word spoken by Jesus was true. They could go forward on the mission he would give them because he was prepared to walk and talk with them just as he had before the events in Jerusalem. Eventually he would stop appearing to them and they would receive the Holy Spirit in order to continue to draw people back to God to receive God’s grace, love, strength and wisdom for this life and assurance of a life eternal for no longer could anything separate God and the people.
Today people speak of the walk to Emmaus as a metaphor for their spiritual journey. It is a walk that begins as a journey to faith in God and culminates with the assurance that comes to us through the Holy Spirit. It is a walk that we symbolically make every day of our lives. Whenever we spend time in prayer with God, whenever we take the time to read Scripture, whenever we take time to be in a place where God can meet us, we are journeying to Emmaus.
Each of us begins that journey in a different place and each of us will take that journey at a different pace; but one thing we can be assured of – the Lord will come and take that walk with us.
This day as we come to the table of the Lord and re-enact those events of that last Supper, let us recognize the presence of God in the breaking of the bread and the drinking of the cup and know that our Redeemer lives!
Invitation to the Offering
Our lives overflow with blessing and goodness, gifts which come from God. Out of the bounty of our lives, let us present to God our gifts and offerings with overflowing thankfulness.
Prayer of Dedication
Generous God, you bless us with life, purpose, and opportunities to serve in the world you love. We offer you our gifts in Christ’s name, not seeking greater gain, but desiring to enrich life around with your love. Amen.
Communion Hymn: Put peace into each other’s hands
Put peace into each other’s hands and like a treasure hold it
protect it like a candleflame with tenderness enfold it.
Put peace into each other’s hands with loving expectation
be gentle in your words and ways in touch with god’s creation
Put peace into each other’s hands like bread we break for sharing
look people warmly in the eye our life is meant for caring
put Christ into each other’s hands he is love’s deepest measure
in love make peace, give peace a chance and share it like a treasure
Sacrament of Holy Communion
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again; He ascended into heaven, He is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. AMEN.
Words of Institution
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving:
And now as our Lord taught us we pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil; for Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. AMEN.
The Sharing of the Bread
The Sharing of the Cup
Prayer after Communion
Communion Hymn: Holy Light
HOLY LIGHT, STILL BURNING BRIGHT
PRESENCE OF GOD, THAT FREES US
LIFT THE SHADOWS FROM OUR SOUL
SHINE THROUGH OUR LIFE, LORD JESUS
SHINE THROUGH OUR LIFE, LORD JESUS
HOLY FIRE, OUR HEART’S DESIRE
DANCE OF OUR LIFE, PURSUE US
MEND OUR FROZEN BROKEN HEARTS
SPIRIT OF GOD, RENEW US
SPIRIT OF GOD, RENEW US
HOLY WORD, ALL WHO HAVE HEARD
JESUS WALKING BESIDE US
DID NOT OUR HEARTS THEN BURN WITH LOVE?
WORD OF OUR GOD, NOW GUIDE US
WORD OF OUR GOD, NOW GUIDE US
HOLY BREAD, OUR SOULS ARE FED
CUP OF LOVE INVITE US
ALL ARE WELCOME AT THE FEAST
BREAD OF THE WORLD UNITE US
BREAD OF THE WORLD UNITE US.
As we conclude this time of prayer and reflection may we remember that we live in God’s world and that we are to be people of peace. And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest and abide with each one of us this day and forever more. AMEN
Sunday, April 26 (Mission Awareness Sunday) We pray for all local Women’s Missionary Society groups who will be leading worship for Mission Awareness Sunday. May their words inspire all to be involved in mission.
Monday, April 27 We pray for the Rev. Roger MacPhee who serves as Convener of the Ministry Committee for the Presbytery of Prince Edward Island.
Tuesday, April 28 We pray for the renewal of soil around the world so that all species can flourish free from wants.
Wednesday, April 29 Give thanks for the children in our church schools and youth groups, and for the leaders who love them, care for them and teach them.
Thursday, April 30 We pray for the members of the Committee on Education and Reception as they meet this week with the candidates and ministers who have applied to be received into the PCC.
Friday, May 1 We pray for all the Presbyterian camps as they prepare for the campers who will be gathering this summer.
Saturday, May 2 (Asian Heritage Month) We give thanks for the gifts and accomplishments of Asian people in Canada. May we come together to celebrate Asian cultures and seek out parts of our history that often go untold.
April 26: Spanish outreach ministry
In summer of 2019, University Presbyterian Church in North York, Ont., launched a new worshipping community for Spanish-speakers. The ministry’s leader, Julio, started by connecting with members of his own Hispanic community who are not attending church. With a team from his church, Julio has begun establishing small discipleship groups and outreach initiatives, including taco nights and a soccer league for children. Please pray for University Presbyterian Church, Julio, and leaders who are stepping out in faith to plant new ministries.