How did he bring those men back to hope? Through Scripture and through the breaking of the bread.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Please sit.
Our Gospel today is a story of abandoned and rediscovered hope. And it is a parable that works for all of us in our daily lives if we are willing to hear what it says to us. The disciples who are leaving Jerusalem have lost hope. They’ve seen the things that Jesus has done, they’ve heard his teaching. But when he died on the cross, they abandoned all hope.
Christians are a people of hope, of faith. And we hold Jesus Christ close to us. And when we abandon that hope, all we find is darkness. But rejoice because we are not kept in darkness. Because Jesus is always walking with us, just as he was walking with those two men who had abandoned their hope, abandoned their faith.
And in that abandonment of hope, and in that abandonment of faith, they could not see Jesus. That’s true in our lives. When we abandon our hope, when we abandon our faith, when we turn away from looking for Jesus, working in our lives, we can’t see Him, but he is there with us. So how do we see Jesus in our daily life? How do we break away from that pattern of darkness?
How do we pull ourselves out of that place and see Jesus stood next to us? That steadfastness of God that Peter talks about in our second reading, Jesus tells us exactly how to do it. How did he bring those men back to hope? Through Scripture and through the breaking of the bread. This is why I extol you at all times to read Scripture, because this is how you keep the enemy away and your eyes focused on Jesus.
This is why I encourage you to come to church as much as you can. Because in the breaking of the bread, we see Jesus most readily. Scripture and sacraments, one of our founding principles of our community here. A love of sharing in scripture and sacraments. And it is in that simple truth that we discover in Eastertide that today we get to welcome four new pilgrims on that journey.
Saied, Fatemeh, Robbie and Sangeetka. You get to walk with Jesus just as those new disciples did. And through your reading of Scripture, through coming and receiving Jesus Christ in the sacrament, your eyes will be opened and you will discover that most powerful of things – hope in Jesus Christ, hope in God, and a steadfast love that will support you all your days.
And the awesome thing for the rest of us who see you baptised this morning is that we are reminded of that steadfastness, we are reminded of that love. And we are called to come back to Scripture, we are called to come back to church, we are called to receive that gift of Jesus Christ afresh every single time we have a baptism.
And so Fatemeh, Saied, Robbie and Sangeetka I’m going to ask you to come with me to the font and we shall baptise you in the powerful name of Jesus Christ .