But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.  (Luke 24:16)





third sunday in easter


Sermon Starter

The world is full of irony. Things often go differently than we would expect. Irony is that strange reality that what you expect to happen doesn’t often happen. Instead, just the opposite happens than what we would expect. For example, there is that old saying that we often use when talking about swindlers, cheats, and those who take advantage of others: We say, “Well, he’s gonna get what’s coming to him.” Or “I’ll be glad when he gets what’s coming to him.”

Often times, the very opposite happens to those people. Rather than “getting what’s coming to them” ie. misfortune or a dose of their own medicine, these kinds of people seem to always walk away from situations appearing content, comfortable and unscathed. It is irony. This world is full of it. What is also ironic is that humble, pious and kind Christians often ironically seem to struggle, suffer and face difficulty. Again, it is ironic.

Well, St. Luke the evangelist seems to be intrigued by irony. He picks up on the notion of irony in his gospel and also in the book of Acts which he authored. What St. Luke focuses on in different places are situations where humans are making decisions and trying to do things to further their faith, yet all the while they are really going about blindly. While they are going about blindly, yet making decisions, the end result is quite a bit different than they had expected.

This happens in the gospel text for today. Behind the human purpose is a stronger, hidden purpose of God which uses human blindness to thwart human plans, yet further God’s plans. It is irony.

We often go about our business in the church, thinking that we know exactly what needs to be done and we become disgruntled when things don’t go our way.

Collect of the Day

O God, through the humiliation of Your Son You raised up the fallen world. Grant to Your faithful people, rescued from the peril of everlasting death, perpetual gladness and eternal joys; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.