Sermon on Luke 24: 36b-48 for April 15, 2018, Easter 3 B
Jesus’ Mysteriously Real Presence
Luke 24: 36b-48
Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do thought arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you–that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
One of the reasons we are here is that we care about the big questions of life. The big three questions for me, and I think for almost all of us are: Who am I? Why am I here? and What am I supposed to do?
The first thing that probably needs to be said is that now we know that most of what we mean when we say the word “I” is that “I am who I am” to a large extent because of “we.” I am formed, significantly, by the culture and community I am in. So really the three big questions involve us in other questions: Who are we? Why are we here? and What are we supposed to do?”
We humans have always been asking these questions. The way we have been trying to answer them is by telling stories. Our stories are the biblical stories. So how are we supposed to take biblical stories? This is a huge challenge for us who live on this side of the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution.