Service – Sunday 26th April

The Emmaus Road

Bach Orchestral Suite No 2 in B Minor BWV1067
Click here to play the music

Call to Worship:
We need your presence on the long road, Lord.
The road between fear and hope,
the road between the place where all is lost
and the place of resurrection.
Like the disciples walking the road to Emmaus,
we need your company!
Jesus, stand among us, in your risen power,
let this time of worship, be a hallowed hour.

StF 353 – Hymn – Jesus is Lord
Click here to play the music (includes introduction)

Jesus is Lord! Creation’s voice proclaims it,
for by his power each tree and flower was planned and made.
Jesus is Lord! The universe declares it;
sun, moon and stars in heaven cry: Jesus is Lord!
Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!
Praise him with alleluias, for Jesus is Lord!

Jesus is Lord! Yet from his throne eternal
in flesh he came to die in pain on Calvary’s tree.
Jesus is Lord! From him all life proceeding —
yet gave his life a ransom, thus setting us free.
Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!
Praise him with alleluias, for Jesus is Lord!

Jesus is Lord! O’er sin the mighty conqueror,
from death he rose; and all his foes shall own his name.
Jesus is Lord! God sends his Holy Spirit
to show by works of power that Jesus is Lord.
Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!
Praise him with alleluias, for Jesus is Lord!

                                                                                                          David John Mansell (b. 1936)

Confession:
Click here to hear the words

Lord, so often we act like the disciples, and are blind to what You are doing in this world.  We stay in our own safety zone and walk in our own strength, forgetting that we exist because You hold our lives in Your hand.  Lord, fill us and make us into Your Son’s image. Give us the Faith to trust and believe in the resurrection, that we may be a people filled with Your love. We pray this in the precious and powerful name of Jesus.  Amen

God promises us that He will never leave us or forsake us,
Let’s be reminded of God’s love.
I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Now and for ever.
Amen.

Address:
From the phrases following and depending on your age or predilection, you may recognise various comedians. ‘I could crush a grape’ – ‘Look at the muck in here’ – ‘Nice to see you…’ – ‘Ooh err missus, no. ‘- ‘Just like that’ – ‘You lucky people’ – ‘Now here’s a funny thing’.
(answers at the end of address)

Comedians, entertainers and characters they played often had a catchphrase (Roy Walker doesn’t count here). It was something that everyone knew, recognised them by and could join in or impersonate. Just to dispel one ‘legend’ and that is that Michael Caine never said ‘There’s not many people who know that’. ‘I have never said “Not Many People Know That”,’ Caine. Peter Sellers had told Parkinson in 1972 that Caine loved to quote Guinness World Records and would finish off by saying: ‘Now there’s not many who people know that’, which was untrue. Caine then said ‘’Peter Sellers said it when he impersonated my voice on his telephone answering machine. ‘His impersonation was “This is Michael Caine, Peter Sellers is out. Not many people know that.’’’
Jesus did not have a ‘catchphrase’. He did say a lot of things that in one way are ‘catchy’, but in our world did not ‘catch-on’ to a great extent, even in the church.
On the Emmaus road we meet two distraught and despondent disciples. Distraught having seen Jesus crucified and perhaps despondent at the end of the journey. The disciples and followers had dispersed in disappointment at not having seen the risen Jesus and dismay that the story may not be true.

Someone joins them, they do not recognise him and ‘why?’ some people may ask.

Perhaps that is because Jesus Christ was not a ‘superstar’. Isaiah 53:2 tells us:

“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”

Jesus did not draw people because of his ‘looks’, as in the vanity of the ‘stars’ of this world.

When he sat and explained the scriptures to them and did not recognise him we may ask ‘why not?’ again, especially as Mary had recognised him when he said her name.

Perhaps they had listened and puzzled over what he said, as so many have since, rather than the way he said it.

They recognised him by how he broke the bread before the meal because of what this sharing of the meal meant to them in their tradition.

After the Temple, the centre of Jewish life, was destroyed the Rabbis transferred the Temple in Jerusalem into the Jewish home, moving its rituals, personnel, sacred space, food, blessings and prayers to the family and the family Shabbat table.
As the Talmud says, “And now that we no longer have the Temple in Jerusalem and its altar to bring about atonement for sin, a person’s family table gains reconciliation and forgiveness.” Thus, the Mizbei’ach (altar) became the family table. Libation wine became Kiddush (consecrating the Sabbath). The kiyor (brass wash basin) became Netilat Yadayim (hand washing). The Lehem Ha’Panim (show bread) became challah. Every offering in the Temple had salt, and challah is now dipped in salt. And of course, there was the majestic golden Menorah (candelabrum), which now takes its place as Shabbat candles. The priestly blessing is now recited over children by parents, who take the place of priests in the Temple. Thus, can we now say, “Every home a temple; every family a sanctuary; every table an altar; every meal an offering; every Jew a Priest.”
In the Torah, great and important things happen over meals. The first time Abraham arrives in Jerusalem he has a meal of bread and wine with Melchizedek. When Abraham and Sarah enter the covenant and are visited by significant guests, the birth of Isaac is announced over a meal. Then we have what is probably the most important meal in the Torah. On the night before liberation from slavery, God instructs the Jewish people to commemorate the move from slavery to freedom by conducting the Passover Seder.

Eating is a sacred act, eating is a social task, which is transformed into a community of intimacy and shared experience. People sit down around a table or some other shared space. They face each other. Someone has prepared the food, someone serves the food, and people pass food to each other.
Jewish tradition recognizes a meal as a time for intimacy, fellowship, and significant conversation. Kindness is the basic mood of the Jewish meal. People are fed and nourished, and in this intimate setting people talk with each other about what matters.

They recognised Jesus because he invited them in, into a personal, an intimate and a meaningful relationship.

As we as Christians, as we as ‘The Christian Church’ journey alongside so many who do not ‘see’ Jesus; who do not ‘hear’ what Jesus says; will we be the ones to break bread with the distraught, the despondent, the dispersed, the disappointed and the dismayed. Will we invite them in?
AMEN

Answers

Stu Francis
I could crush a grape
Bruce Forsythe
Nice to see you
Frankie Howard
Ooh err missus, no
Tommy Cooper
Just like that
Tommy Trinder
You lucky people
Max Miller
Now here’s a funny thing

StF 476 – Hymn: One More Step
Click here to play the music (includes introduction)

One more step along the world I go,
one more step along the world I go;
from the old things to the new
keep me travelling along with you:
and it’s from the old I travel to the new;
keep me travelling along with you.

Round the corners of the world I turn,
more and more about the world I learn;
all the new things that I see
you’ll be looking at along with me:
and it’s from the old I travel to the new;
keep me travelling along with you.

As I travel through the bad and good,
keep me travelling the way I should;
where I see no way to go
you’ll be telling me the way, I know:
and it’s from the old I travel to the new;
keep me travelling along with you.

Give me courage when the world is rough,
keep me loving though the world is tough;
leap and sing in all I do,
keep me travelling along with you:
and it’s from the old I travel to the new;
keep me travelling along with you.

You are older than the world can be,
you are younger than the life in me;
ever old and ever new,
keep me travelling along with you:
and it’s from the old I travel to the new;
keep me travelling along with you.

                                                                                     Sydney Carter (1915-2004)

Intercessions:
You come to us
In unexpected places,
In a crowded room,
In a journey on a dusty road,
In conversation,
In the stillness.

You come in the midst of our doubt, our fear, our sorrow
You come in the power of the resurrection
No pain and suffering is unknown to you.

You bring us peace
We pray for the places where there is no peace
Countries torn by war
Refugees seeking homes
Prisoners facing torture

You bring peace
Peace to the tensions and conflicts within us
To the regrets, the failure,
The broken relationships
The lost friendships

You bring peace
For you are a friend to us
When we are alone
When we are lonely
Unseen you are there

You bring us peace
And we pray that we too
may become peacemakers.
In Jesus name.
AMEN

StF 404 – Hymn: God’s Spirit is in my heart
Click here to play the music (includes introduction)

God’s spirit is in my heart;
he has called me and set me apart.
This is what I have to do,
what I have to do:
He sent me to give the good news to the poor,
tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more,
tell blind people that they can see,
and set the down-trodden free,
and go tell everyone
the news that the kingdom of God has come;
and go tell everyone
the news that God’s kingdom has come.

Just as the Father sent me,
so I’m sending you out to be
my witness throughout the world–
the whole of the world:
He sent me to give the good news to the poor,
tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more,
tell blind people that they can see,
and set the down-trodden free,
and go tell everyone
the news that the kingdom of God has come;
and go tell everyone
the news that God’s kingdom has come.

Don’t carry a load in your pack;
you don’t need two shirts on your back;
God’s workers can earn their own keep —
can earn their own keep:
He sent me to give the good news to the poor,
tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more,
tell blind people that they can see,
and set the down-trodden free,
and go tell everyone
the news that the kingdom of God has come;
and go tell everyone
the news that God’s kingdom has come.

Don’t worry what you have to say;
don’t worry, because on that day
God’s spirit will speak in your heart —
will speak in your heart:
He sent me to give the good news to the poor,
tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more,
tell blind people that they can see,
and set the down-trodden free,
and go tell everyone
the news that the kingdom of God has come;
and go tell everyone
the news that God’s kingdom has come.

                                                                        v1 and refrain Alan T. Dale (1902-1979)
                                                                           vv. 2-4 Hubert Richards (b. 1921)

Blessing:
May the blessing of God surround us
May angels and friends share our journey

May we be safeguarded, loved and cherished
May we walk on holy ground

May people of faith inspire us
May wisdom and justice empower us

May we be wise and strong and creative
May we celebrate life and hope

May God’s image grow within us
May laughter and courage heal us

May the Gospel of life sustain us
All the days of our journey home
AMEN

Tuba Tune by Norman Cocker  Click here to play the music