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Call to Worship

[you may want to actually light a candle]

Take a deep breath and pause.
Be present to each other.
Take a deep breath and pause.
Imagine God's love, a warm light filling you and your prayer partner.
Take a deep breath and pause.
Send love and affection to the person with whom you are worshiping.
Express your appreciation to one another for this time and this contact at a distance.  

Opening Prayer

Holy One, we forget that you are traveling with us.
Then that wondrous Easter moment comes when you reveal yourself to us again in the recounting of a familiar story, in the remembering of your love, in the breaking of the bread.
You reveal yourself and our hearts are renewed.
We stand in silence, awe, astonishment, and love.
Take away this cloud from our eyes that we might see clearly and end our grieving, reassured that Christ is risen, risen indeed.  Amen.  

Reading (see below)

Luke 24:13-35

13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. 18Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ 19He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’ 25Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. 28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ 33That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.  


There is a common theme to the stories of the appearances of the Resurrected Christ Throughout the accounts in all four gospels, those who see Jesus, have difficulty recognizing him. Mary thought she was speaking to the gardener; the fishermen didn't recognize who was calling them from the shore, telling them to cast their nets again; frequently it is recorded, the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost; and here we have two travelers on the road to Emmaus who don't recognize the stranger who joins them.  

You and I have an advantage over the travelers to Emmaus, because we've read the story beginning to end and we have access to all four Gospels, the travelers did not.  

The travelers to Emmaus do know the story of Jesus. They are able to tell the stranger all about what has happened to Jesus, from his ministry, to the promises he made, to his arrest, trial, and crucifixion. They are able to recount what had happened that very morning, Mary went to the tomb and saw the Risen Lord.  

But they are still grieving.  

They do not yet understand what is going on.  

The still don't recognize the Risen Christ, even though he is standing in front of them, speaking with them.  

How much is that like us? We come to church, we know the story. But do we understand it? Do we always recognize Christ when Christ is among us?  

Later in the story, after they have recognized Christ in the breaking of the bread, they remember that while they were on the road, listening to the stranger speak, their hearts were burning within them.  

Despite knowing Jesus, knowing his story, and feeling a burning in their hearts, they still didn't recognize Jesus until they had offered him hospitality and he broke the bread.  

Sometimes the Bible really is a "How to" book, telling us what we can do so we can recognize the living Christ.  

Here in the story of the Road to Emmaus, we have some clear elements that can dispose us to recognizing and receiving the "Blessed Stranger" when he arrives.  

One element is to know the story.  

The second element is to be aware of the burning in our hearts.  

But this isn't enough for the friends walking on the road to Emmaus. It isn't until they offer the stranger hospitality, to spend the night with them, and the stranger breaks bread with them that they recognize the Living Christ.  

The elements that dispose us to recognizing the Post-Resurrection Jesus are to know the story, feel the burning in our hearts, and to offer hospitality to strangers.  

As we navigate the days ahead through pandemic and crisis, we will recognize the Living Christ among us when we know our story, when feel the burning in our hearts, and when we offer hospitality to strangers.    


Let us unite our hearts in prayer, saying,
God of resurrection, hear our prayer.  

For the church throughout the world,
that as we celebrate the great fifty days of Easter
we may renew our faith and strengthen our witness in Jesus’ name.
God of resurrection, hear our prayer.  

For pastors, teachers and ministers,
especially the members of Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church of Canada,
that they recognize the risen Christ in Word and Sacrament
and lead your church with wisdom, humility, and courage.
God of resurrection, hear our prayer.  

For the governments of the world and its leaders,
Especially Justin Trudeau and John Horgan,
that they may resist the corruption of sin and serve the common good;
God of resurrection, hear our prayer.  

For our planet Earth,
that all people may be good stewards of its resources
and share in its abundance.
God of resurrection, hear our prayer.  

For the poor and the stranger,
that they may receive a place of refuge and hope,
and that the church may offer the hospitality
the first disciple offered to Jesus on the road to Emmaus.
God of resurrection, hear our prayer.  

For the sick and those in distress,
that they may find healing for their pain
and be restored to fullness of life.
God of resurrection, hear our prayer.  

For our neighbours,
that we may live together in peace and share our resources.
God of resurrection, hear our prayer.  

For our enemies,
that they may receive good things,
and that we, your servants, not return evil for evil.
God of resurrection, hear our prayer.*  

For Nova Scotia, and all who are torn apart
and heartbroken by this week’s violence.
God of resurrection, hear our prayer. *

*Feasting on the Word, Liturgies for Year A, Vol 1, p144 ff  

The Disciples’ Prayer

Our Father who art in Heaven…  

Sending Forth

Express your appreciation to each other for this time of closeness and prayer  

Announcements and Additional service materials


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“Jesus is with us” based on Luke 24:13-35
as retold by David Cathcart  

When the readers says, “Sad,” [sigh with sadness]
When the readers says, “Amazed!” we respond: Alleluia!  Praise God!  

One day, two friends of Jesus were walking along a dusty road.  And they were very sad.  One friend was named Cleopas, we don’t know the name of the other friend.  They were on their way to a little town called Emmaus.  They were very sad because their dear friend, Jesus had been killed and they missed him very much.   

They were also probably frightened, because they thought maybe the soldiers would arrest them too.  And they were ashamed because they had abandoned Jesus to be crucified.  And they were confused because the women had gone to the tomb that morning and said that it was empty and others had said they’d seen Jesus.  

So the friends were confused, ashamed, frightened and, most of all, sad.  

As they walked along, a stranger came up beside them.  “May I walk with you?” the stranger asked.  

“Yes,” the two friends said, “please walk with us.”  

As the three people walked together, the stranger asked, “What makes you so sad?”  

The two friends looked at the man and were amazed.  “Haven’t you heard?  Our good friend Jesus has died.  We miss him so much.”  And they sighed with sadness again.  

As they continued to walk down the road, their new friend told the two friends many stories about God.  And the two friends listened and listened as they walked along.  The two friends noticed that as they listened to the stranger, their hearts were warm.  

When they arrived in Emmaus, the new friend looked like he might carry on down the road into the night.  But the two friends said to their new friend, “Please be our guest.  It is already late, Come in and stay with us.”  

When they sat at the table, their guest took the bread, said a prayer and broke the bread just like Jesus used to do.  Suddenly the two friends realized this was Jesus!  They were so amazed!  Until then, they had not recognized him.  

Once they recognized the Living Christ in the breading of the bread, Jesus disappeared. This also amazed the friends.  

The two friends were so amazed and excited they had to tell everyone the good news.  They didn’t care that it was almost dark.  They didn’t care that they were hungry and hadn’t eaten.  They didn’t care that they had just walked a long way.  They were so amazed, they jumped up from the table, went out the door, and went all the way back to Jerusalem, they didn’t walk, they ran!  “Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Jesus is still with us!” they shouted to everyone who would listen.  And everyone who heard them was also amazed!