April 23, 2023: Words and Actions

Stones with resurrection images

Third Sunday of Easter

Words and Actions

As our two distraught travelers were walking the road to Emmaus, they were talking about the events of the past few days. They were replaying the events with words of sadness, confusion, and hopelessness, as they tried to make sense of it all. There must have been many words being thrown about, because as the unrecognized Jesus approaches them, he asks, “What are you discussing with each other?” Again, words—as they pose their own question back to him: “Haven’t you heard?”

They quickly give this stranger the CliffsNotes version of the story that unfolded: a mighty prophet, the hope of Israel, handed over to death; the strange tale of the women regarding the missing body of the man. All these words coming from their mouths, yet they don’t understand the meaning behind them. So Jesus reminds them of the words found in Scripture that the prophets had declared, how all these things must come to pass. But they still do not understand.

Later that evening, when they are sharing a meal with this “new” acquaintance, it is actions—not words—that finally allow them to recognize the real story that has been playing out all along. Jesus, as he has so often before, models the action to demonstrate the message. He takes, thanks, breaks, and gives. Perhaps we can hear the message in the action too.

Take hold of the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, set before us. Thank God for the sustaining power and the redemptive love which that Bread of Life provides. Break the habits of a life lived for self that separates us from God and others. Give our lives over to God.

Kelly Kapp, lay pastor
Lebanon Moravian Church
Lebanon, Pennsylvania