May 4-10, 2011–Everyone is Talking About It

Posted on May 3, 2011 by faithlens

Contributed by Angie Larson, Clive, Iowa

Warm-up Question

What is the biggest story that has been in the news lately?

Everyone is Talking About It

On Friday, April 29th at Westminster Abbey, Prince William of England and Miss Catherine Middleton were married.  The Royal Wedding consumed much of the media coverage over the past month.  It seems that everyone was talking about it.  Pre-wedding details were scrutinized by the media.  How will the couple process?  What will the dress look like?  Who will be invited to the ceremony?   The wedding was discussed on talk shows, news programs, and even included in sit-coms in the preceding weeks. Wedding memorabilia was sold, websites popped up featuring the couple, comparisons were made to previous royal weddings, and some websites even published appropriate vocabulary to use at the royal wedding.   It seemed every question surrounding the couple’s wedding was looked into by the media.  How much pressure did the florist feel?  What training will the police have to accommodate the wedding?  What does the prince feel about those who have turned down their invitations, like the prince of Bahrain and Ireland’s rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll? The Royal Wedding became the spotlight of media attention; it seemed that everyone was talking about it.

Discussion Questions

  • Did you tune in for the Royal Wedding?
  • What do you think about the amount of media coverage for the  ceremony?
  • How do you think the Prince and new Princess felt about the speculation and expectations leading up to their wedding?  How would you feel if you were them?

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, May 8, 2011 (Third Sunday of Easter)

Acts 2:14a, 36-41

1 Peter 1:17-23

Luke 24:13-35

(Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year C at Lectionary Readings.)

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.

Gospel Reflection

A mournful pair walks down the road to Emmaus talking about all the things that had just happened in Jerusalem. Everyone was talking about Jesus’ crucifixion and the events that followed. They met a man on the road who appeared to not have heard the story of Jesus.  They did not know that that man was Jesus.  He asked them why they seemed so sad.  They replied, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” Jesus, keeping up the conversation, asks them to explain what has happened.  The pair explain to him everything that  happened and how suddenly three days after the crucifixion some women they know claim to have seen a vision of angels, telling them that Jesus is in fact alive.  Jesus takes this opportunity to open up the scriptures to them. He shares with them the prophecies and how they have been fulfilled in his actions.  The pair invites Jesus, still not knowing it was him, into their home to stay.  At dinner time, Jesus takes the bread and blesses it.  This is a strange event, as it is usually the homeowner who blesses and breaks the bread.  At that event, the breaking of the bread, the pair realizes that it is Jesus.  Then, interestingly, Jesus disappears.  They reflect on their feelings of what it was like to talk to him and are so excited and invigorated that even though it is late they run seven miles back to Jerusalem to find the disciples.

It seemed that everyone was talking about Jesus. The road to Emmaus couple was astounded to find that this supposed stranger had not heard about the death and resurrection of Jesus.  If it were in today’s world there would have instantly been websites, memorabilia, and newscasts of the events of Jerusalem.  People would be interviewed, scandals made up, and speculations intertwined with the facts.  It seems that everyone would have known about the event, like it seems that everyone knows about the royal wedding.  However, Jesus took this opportunity to provide some clarity for the pair consumed in grief.  He keeps his identity from them so that he can open up the Scriptures to them and show them all they ways in which the prophecies came true in his actions.  He shows them why the Son should suffer death and be raised, and that the events had a purpose.

Discussion Questions

  • How do you think the couple responded when they realized it was Jesus after he disappeared?
  • In your mind, was the pair consoled from their grief before they knew it was Jesus?
  • What are some ways that Jesus has been known to you unexpectedly?

Activity Suggestion

Create some resurrection memorabilia.  Either gather or purchase smooth stones.  With a paint marker, write “He is Risen” on one side of the stone.  Encourage those who you give them to use them as a reminder of the biggest news to ever come across the world, that Jesus has risen from the dead and that the tomb’s stone has been moved away.

Closing Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, You are the biggest news that has ever happened.  Help us to talk about your life, death, and resurrection as much as we talk about other things going on in the world.  We are curious about your life. Open our hearts to your scriptures and our eyes to your presence. Help us to be continually surprised by who you are. Thank you for being present in our hearts. Amen.

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