What you will need to follow along with the reflection:
Find in your house two items you have 3 minutes.
- A cross that you can hold (holding cross, jewellery, maybe even a bible that has a cross on it, if you can’t find anything you could just draw cross on a piece of paper)
- Something that you see that has a cross on it that is obviously not meant to be a Christian cross. It could be something that has a cross as part of a pattern, it could be two unrelated items that together form the shape of a cross.
Today’s reading is the third scene, or the third event of the Easter story in Luke’s Gospel. Jesus appearing to the women outside the tomb is scene one, the road to Emmaus is scene two; where Jesus walks alongside two disciples, who did not recognize him. At the end of this scene, Jesus breaks bread with them and then disappears before they eyes.Today’s reading, scene three, begins with the two disciples that Jesus appeared to, who have gone to the others and they begin to describe what they had seen. While they are retelling their story, Jesus appears and in the scene of witness, Jesus is revealed to the disciples. He stands among them and says ‘Peace be with you’.
The disciples lose it.
They freak out and start acting like Jesus is a ghost. Jesus does the whole “how can I be a ghost, if I can eat a piece of broiled fish” trick, and then, they are convinced. “Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised.”
This is such a great scene. Like all of the moments of miracle and divine revelation, the disciples show their humanity in their disbelief. After everything that has happened, even in the moment where Jesus is stood among them all, they turn to each other to seek clarification of their witness.They struggle to find the words in the moment to react to the presence of God before them.
In this story, we are invited into this witness. In this situation.
We ask ourselves what would we do? How would we react if Jesus was stood in front of me? Would I believe? We are encouraged through these stories of Christ being among his friends and not being recognized, to think about how we see Jesus in the world.
The presence of Christ, the grace of the Holy Spirit and the Divine in creation is before our eyes in the world that we live in today.
Here is where we are going to use the two crosses that we have brought with us. The intentional cross and the unintentional cross.
I want you to pick up the intentional cross.
This cross that was made to symbolize Christ. In what way was this cross made? When the person carved this wood, who guided the cutter, however the cross was formed, they did so because they intended to create something that represented the figure of Christ.
I want you to look at that cross and imagine that you are one of the disciples in that room that night. Where Jesus is standing before you. I want you to imagine experiencing that witness.
What did it feel like?
What did the air smell like?
What did Jesus look like?
What did Jesus say to you?
What happened when you realized that Jesus was alive?
What happened in your heart when you realized that God humbled herself and stood before you as a human being?
Now I want you to continue to hold the cross in you hand, but look at the other cross. The unintentional cross.
This cross what not created to remind you of Jesus. This cross is part of the world that God shaped, but it is by irrelevance or coincidence that this shape is the same one that you hold in your hand.
Whilst still looking at this unintional cross. I want you to imagine what it was like after Jesus has appeared to you. Did the world look different to you?
Is there something about the world outside that feels different because God made it so?
Do people look different?
Think about your loved ones.
Think about those you wish you knew how to love.
Does knowing that God loves that person make you feel differently in how you love them?
Does this cross feel like the other cross?
Does the unintentional cross, now like like the intentional cross?
Whilst you continue to hold the intentional cross in your hand and whilst you continue to look at the unintional cross. I’m going to say a prayer in closing…
Holy and loving God. Christ in my witness. Spirit for my soul.You created the blossom of the trees, the water in the rivers, the rock of the mountain.Into the world that we live, you came to us. You walked with us. You stood among us and said ‘Peace be with you’You have reconciled my heart. Forgiven my wrongs. Offered me hope in the truth of the light and life to come.God in my thoughts. God in my longing. God in my searching.You have anointed me with blessing.Guide me O God, to see the unintentional cross. To see you in new places. To treat creation and every human in the same way, as if you God are before me.