What is the revelation in your life and how do you hold on to it?

The Rev. Michele H. Morgan

April 26th 2020

Easter 3

 

My beloved and I used to have dinner with people, we would eat and tell stories, it was easier without a video screen.

 

When this back and forth would happen and I started to tell stories, my wife would guess what stories I would tell, she knew by what story I would tell, might lead me to tell another story.  She would say, I knew that one was coming, or she would say softly, 2 for 2.  Or later 4 for 4.   It is not meant as mean she just knows my pattern.  I think mostly she does not mind my stories; She would if I took over the conversation, but it is more I desire to entertain and to hear other peoples stories

 

“A myth is a story, and it is a story that insistently recurs: a piece of timelessness caught like an eddy in a narrative time.”[1] Robert Bringhurst

 

 

The disciples are telling stories now; they are trying to make sense of what is happening to their world.   And we hear this morning of two who are dealing with the world in a more physical way, what has happened to them is very upsetting and they take off, they go out in the world, perhaps to escape but perhaps to deal with the world they way they always have in an embodied way.   They cope by moving.   You folks who think better on a walk, a run, a swim, on a bicycle relate to these two disciples who leave, and in their leaving get another revelation.  Jesus appears to them on the road, unseen unrevealed and they walk together and tell a story.   Much like they did with Jesus all the time.

 

Though afraid of what might come next they could not let this man go on, in the dark so they invite him to stay with them, to offer them hospitality.   We all know the story.  If push came to shove you could tell this story, it is like the birth narrative and the prodigal son, people know this story.  And it has one of my favorite lines in scripture that when echoed in our service I settle into it, how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.  That is what a good story can do let you settle in and let you remember what you have learned, what was revealed to you.

 

This is a painting by  DIEGO VALDEZ CALLED THE KITCHEN MAID AT EMMAUS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kitchen_Maid#/media/File:La_mulata,_by_Diego_Vel%C3%A1zquez.jpg

 

In 1618 or so Diego Velázquez was a young painter and he paints the road to Emmaus unlike any of the painters who go before or after him.

“We see the story afresh through the eyes of a kitchen maid. The originality and power of the painting depend in part of the unoriginality of the story.   We have to know the story before had in order to grasp what Vasquez has done with it— how he has pulled it back tautly, into a corner over the woman’s shoulder, and suddenly let it go, so we can see [THE REVELATION] ricocheting through her eyes.” [2]

 

It is a stunning piece that allows the recognition of Christ breaking into the world through the eyes of a woman in the kitchen.  The Revelation of the resurrection dawns on her, and on us as we see it play out in an ordinary scene.

 

Stories are told we retell them so we can understand more deeply.  An ordinary place, an ordinary act and one which we do daily, cleaning up the dinner dishes, and in that revelation can break-in.

 

“A myth is a story, and it is a story that insistently recurs: a piece of timelessness caught like an eddy ina  narrative time.” Robert Bringhurst

 

And here is the thing about revelations, you kind of have to hold on to them, and hearing them a new might be the way we attempt to hold on.

This painting is a really early work of Velázquez, who became a court painter for the King of Spain, and his work became much more traditional. Someone later came and painted over the upper left corner, Jesus and his followers are covered up and the Kitchen maid at Emmaus becomes the kitchen maid.

 

When Revelations move away from us, they may get covered up.  Our work is to keep them fresh so that we might hold on to them, be changed by them, retell them, and be able to tell our own stories of revelation.  Our own stories of God breaking into our lives.

 

Have you had any revelation in the last 46 days?  Perhaps ones that have moved you closer to God, to the spark of the divine?   Are you telling those stories, are you hoping to hold on to them?  How might you?  How might you re-tell them, pass them on to others?

 

We are people of story, we are people of revelation, we are people who keep on seeking.

 

For that I say thanks be to God.

Amen

[1] A Story as sharp as a knife, The Classical Haida mythtellers and their world   Robert Bringhurst

[2] IBid