Theme: “Jesus Unrecognized”
Does God come to us “incognito” as a stranger?
- Gen. 18:1-15
- Heb. 13:2
- Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances: Jn. 21, Luke. 24:13-31
The Change that Jesus brings
- Luke 24: 31-35
- Matt. 25: 37-40
“It is only in Jesus that, even in the bewildering times, we learn what life means.” Wm. Barclay
I recently visited my 94 year old aunt, and my wife and I took her to lunch. In the course of our conversation my aunt mentioned that she had not seen or heard from her sister’s children, Bruce and Diane. My wife pointed to me and said, ”There’s one of them.” I reminded her that my sister died in 1978. It was ironic that here she was eating lunch with me and yet not knowing that it was me. In my aunt’s case it was dementia, but I can’t help but wonder if we all don’t suffer at times from a kind of “spiritual dementia” that doesn’t allow us to see Jesus when He is present.
My wife tells the story of a group of teachers in the teacher’s lounge talking about a particular student when someone knocked on the door. One of the teachers went to the door and spoke with the person, who happened to be the very one they were talking about. After returning to the table and asked about who the knocker was the teacher replies: “Jesus, in his most unrecognizable form.”
Film, other visual aids:
“Touched By An Angel” producer Martha Williamson relates a personal experience at a time in her life when she was not feeling very well. She encountered a homeless woman who she invited to have lunch with her, offering to pay for the poor woman’s lunch.
The woman looked her straight in the eye and said, “You are going to be healed, and after that you will begin a successful ministry.” She then got up and walked out the restaurant leaving a stunned Martha behind. And that’s exactly what proceeded to happen in Martha’s life.
“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” “Beautiful Savior,” “O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee”
O Risen Christ, where will we meet you today? In this worship service? On a hospital bed? At the graveside of a loved one? Around a campfire? At a walk in the woods, or even in our living room? Wherever we meet you, Lord, help us to recognize you and to receive and follow you.*
Prayer of Confession:
Lord, forgive us for all the times we failed to see your face in the face of every face. Amen
Assurance of Pardon:
“God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Jn. 3:17
Benediction: “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:9-10
*2011 Liturgical Publications Inc, LPi Resource Center, P.O. Box 510817, New Berlin, WI 53151-0817, 1-800-950-9952 x 2469