April 18, 2021: Jesus Ate in Their Presence

Third Sunday of Easter

Jesus Ate in Their Presence

Today’s text speaks to the realities of Jesus’ resurrected, flesh-and-bone body. Jesus’ question “Have you anything to eat?” invites his friends to move past their own doubts and wonderings. This experience also harkens back to the times they have spent breaking bread together, sharing food with the crowds, and feasting among those with questionable reputations. Earlier the breaking of bread opened the eyes of the two in Emmaus. Now with the roasted fish Jesus’ friends are moved toward grasping Jesus’ presence among them.

Yet it is not simply a return to the life as they knew it with Jesus. Something has shifted. Jesus says, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you”— pointing to their past experiences and life together. The same Jesus is present, but there has been a rupture in our definitions of what is possible. Jesus has resisted systems of crushing poverty, bigotry, and violence, proclaiming an alternative narrative called the Kingdom of God. His execution sought to silence this movement. Yet, in walks Jesus, asking for some food, talking with his friends about the radical, expansive grace of God.

This encounter in Luke’s Gospel speaks to the ways we experience life with Jesus today. Friends of Jesus still gather to share in community and Jesus shows up. We break bread together and Jesus is among us, and in the sharing of food Jesus becomes real. We open up the Scriptures, and Christ is present again. We meet a risen Savior whose work to undo oppression and heal fractured relationships has not been stopped. We hear again Christ’s words to bear witness to what he has done, and be ready to share in this life now.

Marian Boyle Rohloff, pastor, West Side Moravian Church
Green Bay, Wisconsin