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Easter Sunday

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" - John 15:13


"The Supper at Emmaus", 1601, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

The central belief of Christianity is not that Jesus died, but that Jesus died and rose again. The two grieving disciples, with no notion of the resurrection, have the extraordinary experience of walking along the road to Emmaus, and hearing from an apparent stranger how the Messiah could only come to glory through suffering.


Engrossed by his conversation, the disciples begged him to join them for supper. It was only at the table, when Jesus blessed the bread and broke it, that they suddenly recognized him. Breaking the bread and blessing it: that is Eucharist. For us, too, Jesus reveals himself in the 'breaking of bread', though as we expect it, we are not as astonished as these two men.


Better perhaps if we were astonished, because the Eucharist is the most sacred of gifts. Caravaggio does not paint Jesus as is customary: bearded, grave and compassionate of face. This is a Jesus who is eternally young, though still utterly the same.

Prayer:

O come, Lord Jesus, rise within us and take us to yourself.


The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic* and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

*universal

The United Methodist Hymnal 880.
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