We Are Easter People! Alleluia!
This was the theme of worship in the early Church. Persons initiated into the Church through Holy Baptism gathered every Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ in their worship.
At the weekly assembly the Bible was read and explained (The Liturgy of the Word), after which they brought offerings to the table, including bread and wine, which were blessed and shared in the common meal (The Liturgy of the Eucharist).
The Eucharist was a meal of joy and thanks because:
* the risen Christ, proclaimed in the sermon, was present in the
* the saving event of Christ was dramatized in the meal - bread given,
broken, and shared;
* the Communion was a "foretaste of the feast to come" when we eat with
our Lord in the heavenly banquet for eternity;
* Christians were tied together in love as they shared the bread and wine.
Luke 24:13-35 (The gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Easter) was a resurrection story loved by the early Christians because it portrayed their weekly Lord's Day worship experience:
* As the Lord explained the Bible to the disciples on the road to Emmaus,
so the Church celebrated the Liturgy of the Word.
* As the risen Lord revealed himself in the breaking of bread, so the
Church celebrated the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Christians today can discover what was deeply known by the first followers of Christ: That the Church is an Easter People who gather on the Lord's Day to:
* celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ;
* meet the risen Lord as he comes in the preaching and the supper;
* go forth from the meeting to live as Christ's body in the world.
The Church today, like the early Church, wants to meet the Lord. The meeting takes place as the Church gathers to hear the word of grace and to share the holy meal. The love-encounter, through word and sacrament, never grows old. Each encounter increases anticipation for the next.
In Revelation 3:20 the risen Christ says to the Church: "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into their house and eat with them, and they will eat with me."
The call of Christ goes out to his people:
1. "Hear my voice." (The Liturgy of the Word)
2. "Eat with me." (The Liturgy of the Holy Communion/The Eucharist