Eucharist: The Presence of Real Love
But the glory of God is precisely that for our sakes He comes down to the very depths, into human flesh, into the bread, into our mouth, our heart, our bosom.
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Readings: Psalm 85; Romans 3:21-26, Luke 1:26-38
Reflection Questions: On Art, Scripture and Holy Communion
- The title of the painting is called The Pilgrims of Emmaus. The artist envisions the narrative of the two dejected men who returned home after celebrating the feast day of Passover in Jerusalem because their hoped-for Redeemer was crucified. What does the descriptive name of pilgrim connote? Have you ever considered your life in God as a pilgrimage? In what ways have you experienced disappointment on your pilgrim journey with God? Have you ever looked at your spiritual practice of church-going as a pilgrimage each week? Taking part in your faith community’s weekly celebration, have you ever left church disappointed feeling as if your expectations were unmet? Or, has Jesus ever met you in surprising ways? What goes through your mind now as you consider these things?
- The depiction of the Emmaus pilgrims comes from Luke 24:13-35. Reflectively enter the narrative while looking at the painting. After reading the Scriptures, ask yourself: what limits my sight? How do I perceive my own narrative? How might Jesus re-interpret the narrative of my life from his perspective? Share your heart with Jesus, even as the pilgrims shared theirs with him.
- Consider Martin Luther’s comments about the Jesus meal; Holy Communion. Look at the painting again. What do you see on the faces of the pilgrims? It is said of the pilgrims that their hearts burned within as Jesus was recognized in the breaking open of the Scriptures and the bread, and in his real presence with them. How or where do you recognize Jesus when the heart seems slow to believe or discouraged?
…he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.