Saturday, April 30, 2011

a royal wedding sermon for the Sunday after: creationary of Luke 24

A few years ago, I was thinking about weddings while preparing for communion and working on a sermon on Luke 24 and the resurrected Jesus. And I was thinking how at a wedding, we all stand for the “first meal” with the bride and groom. And I began to hear echoes of this in the Easter resurrection story and the Christian practice of communion.

table.jpg Since we were celebrating communion that Sunday, I got four big tables and we dressed them with fancy table cloths, and placed seats and we had big loaves of bread and caraffe’s of grape juice and wine tasting glasses and we invited people to take communion imagining they were sitting at a first meal with Jesus.

So, for those interested, in light of it being once again post-Easter and it also having been a royal wedding and the fact that we are all apparently now kings and queens (!), here is the last bit of the sermon and seque into communion.

Luke 24:40After Jesus said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41The disciples were so glad and amazed that they could not believe it. Jesus then asked them, “Do you have something to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of baked fish. 43He took it and ate it as they watched

So the Resurrected Jesus can eat. And this is sort of like Jesus first meal with his friends after the Resurrection.

Back in Genesis 1 we had a first meal. Adam and Eve ate forbidden fruit. And after that meal, relationships between God and human people are broken.

And now Jesus, a new Adam, takes a piece of baked fish.

And as he eats the entire history of God’s relationship with humanity and the human planet is given a new start.

The Adam meal that led to broken relationship between God and people, has been replaced by the Jesus meal and a re-newed relationship between God and people.

This is Resurrection. A new creation.

Last year I got to marry X and X. One of the best things about marrying people is the reception. A meal. Food and drink.

And someone shouts and you all go quiet. And the MC welcomes us to the first meal with X and X.

And those words hit me: Yeah, the first meal of X and X’s new life.

A meal is a meal. Food, talk, drink, dishes to wash. And suddenly this meal is different. The first meal of X and X’s new life.

Eating this meal means a new relationship. X and X are now one. As we eat we enter a new way of relating to them. And as Jesus eats, we are entering a new way of relating to God and each other.

Eating this meal with X and X was a generous act of hospitality. There’s something really generous about not racing straight off into an exclusive honeymoon, but eating that first meal with friends and family and saying thanks.

And as Jesus eats, he is offering hospitality to people of all nations, all peole invited to freely eat with God.

Eating this meal with X and X was a new start. This wedding day is the climax, something X and X had planned for months.

And now the hopes are reality. Just like the journey from Luke 1 to Luke 24. Angels had announced and wise saints had hoped. And now the climax, the Risen Jesus, eating a first resurrection meal with his disciples.

And so we come to communion.
He took some bread in his hands. Thankful, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Eat this and remember me.” Remember resurrection life; for us to enter into new relationships, generous hospitality, a new start.

Jesus took a cup of and said, “This is my blood, and with it God makes his new agreement with you. Drink this and remember me.” Resurrection life; us entering into new relationships, generous hospitality, a new start.

To honour this Bible text, rather than you be served at our seats, I invite you to come and sit at the tables. To be served here. In doing so, to enter into Resurrection life, new relationships, generous hospitality, a new start, around Jesus table.

We’re going to sing 3 songs. So there’s plenty of time to sit at table. To enjoy the feast. If you don’t want to, then toward the end of the 3rd song, we will bring around bread and wine.

Posted by steve at 09:29 AM


  1. Found this great Steve. Wondering how it might be “set up” in the space in which I work. You know ‘my space’, could it work? Thanks.

    Comment by Bruce Grindlay — May 1, 2011 @ 10:21 am

  2. could work anywhere Bruce.

    You could do one a time if space was a problem. In this case, this was a larger church and the use of 4 tables ‘filled’ the space – and created real curiousity in the leadup to preaching. It was also deliberately a community event ie you sat alongside lots of others and thus the sense that all are called, not an elite.

    But it’s more about evoking the metaphor – “first meal” – and then thinking how the space you have can work with that and what, in your cultural context, communicates that metaphor.

    Also worth adding that in this case X and X were a couple in the church, so their pic was up and their wedding a recent memory and so that all helped created connection


    Comment by steve — May 1, 2011 @ 11:12 am

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