April 18, 2021

Not a ghost: flesh and spirit (click here)

Passage: Luke 24: 36-48
Service Type:

April 18 2021, Easter 3

Welcome to Worship with St. Andrew’s Salmon Arm.  We are so glad that you have joined us, and hope that you will find a blessing here.



  • Scripture Readers sought:  In an effort to keep improving our experience of worship, we are asking for people to sign up to read Scripture.  We have heard how much you miss hearing each other’s voices.  You can come to the regular video Session on Saturday’s at 11:00 or arrange with John to submit a video or audio file.  Scripture Lessons for the post-Easter season are available from Ena.  Please prayerfully consider taking part in this expansion of our worship experience.
  • We continue to pray for Dianne and her whole family following the death of her mother. I have included a link to Henny's obituary if you scroll down the obituary page to 'Services' you can 'Join Livestream' a little before 1:30 on Monday.
    (You can also find the link in the "Recent Posts" to the right.)
  • Special Prayers:  Shirley asks for prayer for her brother Bill and his wife Sarah.  Their home in Kupong was damaged in the cyclone that hit Timor.  Please pray for them and all who are rebuilding following the cyclone.
  • Please pray for Kathy, in treatment for 2 types of cancer, and now has  contracted COVID, likely at the hospital…. please remember her family also.


  • Earth Week - April 18 - 23: Restore our Earth
    The theme of Earth Day this year is Restore Our Earth.
    The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have painfully reminded us about the impacts of human behaviour that break down natural systems and threaten the lives of so many species, including humans. Restore Our Earth reminds us of the opportunity we have to restore relationship, reconnect with Creation, and learn to live in right relationship with people and the earth.
    KAIROS Canada Earth Week Webinars: All on zoom. For more information, click on the link.
    Sunday, April 18 (Earth Sunday)1 pm PDT
    'Creation Care as Self Care'
    Tuesday, April 20 4-6 pm PDT
    'Voices for Peace 2021 - 'Radical Hope, Radical Resistance'
    Thursday, April 22 10 am PDT
    'Earth Day Celebration'

Pre-service sing-along (thank you to Gloria Fitt for providing the music and the inspiration.)

Lighting the Christ Candle

The light of Christ has come among us.
Thanks be to God.


Let us sing....

Praise be to God!

Who dared to take on human flesh and dwell among us.

Praise be to God!

Who did not turn back in the face of evil and death.

Praise be to God!

Who continues to dance through our lives even now.

Let all that have breath sing praise to God.


HYMN:  I greet thee, who my sure redeemer art



Mighty God,
in whom we know the power of redemption,
you stand among us in the shadows of our time.
As we move through every sorrow and trial of this life,
uphold us with knowledge of the final morning
when, in the glorious presence of your risen Son,
we will share in his resurrection,
redeemed and restored to the fullness of life
and forever freed to be your people. Amen.


Gracious God, you give to us your greatest gift, Your Son Jesus Christ, as we still don’t understand what is going on. You call us to be people of courage and hope; and yet we run and hide, doubting and fearing. You challenge us to proclaim our faith; but we huddle in darkness whispering our words of discouragement. Shake us up, Lord! Forgive us when we seem to need prodding over and over again. Help us to see the presence of Jesus in our lives; and remind us of all that He taught us, to help us to live as disciples, serving you by serving others. Change us! Remold us! Make us truly the disciples you have called us to be. AMEN.


Do not be afraid. The Light of God has vanquished the darkness! Christ is risen! Doubts are erased. Rejoice! God’s love is poured upon you, now and forever. AMEN.

We remember always, that in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Thanks be to God.


The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  And also with you.

Share a sign of peace with those nearby or ask the Spirit to bring his peace to another you may know, or to a world situation.


HYMN Refiner’s Fire



Listen, hear and remember, these portions of the revelation of God’s word for us.

Luke 24:  36-48 (Click here for the scriptures read by Charles Fitt and the Sermon by Rev. Ena van Zoeren)

 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.


Sermon:  Not a ghost:  flesh and spirit

It is a common theme throughout the whole journey of Jesus and the disciples.  None of them really saw Jesus for who he is.

Oh, there were flashes, like when Jesus asked, “who do people say that I am?”  And then having heard the answers asked, “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter in a Holy Spirit inspired moment blurted out, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Yet, that inspiration left him just as quickly as it came, for in a very short time, he was arguing with Jesus when Jesus spoke of the journey that the Christ, the Son of the living God, was required to take to the cross.

The problem is that the intersection of divinity and humanity is very small.  In order to see it, we need to be looking for it.  But really all we get are quick glimpses.

For the disciples there was a whole series of those quick glimpses.  Like the feeding of the thousands with just a few loaves and a few fish.  Or the time when Jesus walked on the water.  Or the times he healed people of terrible diseases.  Even the time when he raised the widow’s son from death, and raised Lazarus after he had been dead for 4 days, and announced that he was the resurrection and the life.

In each of those encounters it was hard to see the divinity of Jesus, because they really only knew, or thought they knew the human Jesus who walked and talked and ate with them.

In the post resurrection appearances of Jesus, they once again got a glimpse of the intersection of the human and divine.  But with a twist.

Perhaps it is the same twist that we struggle with.  We see the divine Jesus, we worship and honour him, we sing his praises, we pray for his help in any number of matters, yet—it is difficult to see him as a human who understands our human heartaches and struggles.

That is a part of it, yes; but a bigger part of the problem that we don’t really understand the divine Jesus either.  We worship him, but we don’t always expect to get those glimpses of Jesus in which he fully reveals himself.

We don’t see him in the kindness of a stranger.

We don’t see him in the people we are called to serve.

Our perception of the divine Jesus prevents us from seeing the many ways he comes to us in those around us.

We have to wonder though, as a post resurrection people shouldn’t we be expecting to encounter Jesus more often; and maybe especially in worship and service, where those flashes of his presence reacquaint us with both his humanity and his divinity, as he reminds us of our calling.

From Abraham to Moses, from the prophets to the disciples and even to us, God has revealed himself in the ways we least expect it.

Are our eyes open?

Do we perceive it?

Having open eyes, open hearts and an open understanding is essential if we are to glimpse the intersection of the human and the divine.

Our struggle is not unique.  We see it in the disciples, who failed to recognize Jesus, even though he had already appeared to them, or even though they had heard the story of his resurrection.

Just before Jesus appears to the disciples yet again, we see him on the road to Emmaus, teaching Cleopas and Mary about why the Messiah had to die on the cross.

They didn’t recognize him.

Was it the cloak that he was wearing on his head?  Did it obscure his features, like an early version of the modern day hoodie?

Yet they were compelled to invite him to stay for a meal.  Was this because of the law of compassion for strangers, or was it because there was something about him?

When they passed him the bread and he blessed it and broke it, suddenly they saw.

And in a hurry they ran back to the city, the whole while saying, “Were not our hearts burning within us.”

For them and for us, it is those burning hearts that signal the presence of the Messiah, the son of the living God.

We also know those times when we have sensed his presence, but it has only been when we look back that we fully understand it.  That intersection of the human and the divine is very small and very precious, hard to see at the time, and oh so easy to see after the fact.

Cleopas and Mary explain to the disciples in the Upper Room about the journey and how Jesus walked and talked with them and was revealed in the breaking of bread.

Then, as they were speaking Jesus appears in the LOCKED ROOM.

And they were all startled at his appearing and they thought he was a ghost.

But do ghosts have flesh and blood?

Once again the disciples stood at the intersection of the divine and the human, and they cannot see it.

Jesus always gracious, lets them see and feel his hands.  He invites them to touch and see.

Do you know we get a similar invitation from Jesus?  Every time we come to the Table for the Lord’s supper we are invited to taste and see that the Lord is good.

We, like the disciples, are invited to see that intersection of the human and the divine.  The human who died for our sins, and the divine who rose to redeem us.

Did they see it?  Is it real, or is he a ghost?

Do ghosts have the need for food?

To seal the deal, Jesus asks for food.  In the midst of this divine moment, he reveals his very human need for food and water.

The commentators in the Spiritual Formation Bible, comment on how much we need to experience that intersect, no matter how brief it is; no matter how rarely we experience it.  Jesus is human like us, and divine like God.  He stands in that gap that we cannot cross on our own.  He is our intersection.

That is why it is so important that we recognize Jesus in those whom we are called to serve.  That is why Jesus tells us to give water to the thirsty, and bread to the hungry, and adds, “for what you do for the least of these you do for me.”  We minister to the human in front of us, but at the same time to the divine and holy Jesus.

The one thing that seems to be the gift that Jesus wants to give to the disciples and to us, is the gift of being able to see him, to really see him in his humanness and in his divinity. 

To see requires eyes to see and ears to hear.

But to truly see, demands more than just open eyes, it means that we need open minds and hearts as well.

In that moment in the Upper Room as Jesus enjoys a morsel of cold fish, he teaches them and opens their minds to understand the Scriptures.  He shows them how the Scriptures reveal his presence and teaches about his gift of repentance and forgiveness.

This visit with the disciples helps them to expand their understanding.  They see more clearly the intersect.  To really know Jesus is to see the holy and the human.

Once we see this fullness of the Messiah, then we are given charge to go and to be his witnesses.  He tells the disciples and he tells us, “I am sending upon you what the Father has promised.  So stay here until you have been clothed with power from on high”

That power from on High is the Holy Spirit who floods our being and makes it possible to see Jesus in all that we do and in those around us.

And when we have received the Holy Spirit, then the divine God makes us a vessel worthy to be his servants in every way.

And we are told.  Go out in the power of the Spirit and be witnesses and agents of mercy for the sake of the world Christ died to redeem.

When we do that, it makes it possible for others to see in us the humanness of our walk on earth and the divine power and love that fills our actions.

So let us with open eyes.

Open ears.

Open hearts.

And open minds, go forth in the power of the Spirit for the sake of those whom Christ died to redeem.

And may his divine grace dwell in us, in all that we do.  Amen.

HYMN:  Lord speak to me



Today we remember the gift of Jesus Christ given to us.  We join together giving thanks to God, by bringing our offering into the storehouse.


God of great gifts:
This morning we give you praise,
we give you glory,
we give you thanks!
We joyfully present these gifts to you,
a tangible chorus of thanksgiving,
a harmony of hope for your kingdom come!


Holy God,
you have called us to follow in the way of your risen Son,
and to care for those who are our companions,
not only with words of comfort, but with acts of love.
Seeking to be true friends of all,
we offer our prayers on behalf of the church and the world.

O God, with faces touched by the light of a new day,

and hearts warmed by our prayers and praises,

we come before you to pray

for the needs of our world.


Into the brightness of the presence of Christ

we raise those who are struggling with illness,

with despair over their lives, or with

the breakdown of relationships.

We bring our petitions before you:


May the light of Christ shine upon them.

May the light of Christ shine upon them.


Into the brightness of the presence of Christ

we bring those places in our world

where war, violence, poverty and need

are the experiences of everyday life.

We name these places before you:

May the light of Christ shine upon them.

May the light of Christ shine upon them.


Into the brightness of the presence of Christ,

we bring the headline news of this weekend

we name before you: 

we hold in our hearts the pain

of those suffering violence, bereavement or conflict.

Heal all places of conflict we pray.  We remember especially:


May the light of Christ shine upon them.

May the light of Christ shine upon them.


Into the brightness of the presence of Christ

we bring ourselves, the private struggles,

the heart’s yearnings, the hidden dreams,

the unfulfilled potential.

You alone O God, know what we bear, and
how heavy the burden feels.
Bring us all into your presence, shine your light in our hearts

May the light of Christ shine upon us.

May the light of Christ shine upon us

Guide us in the path of discipleship,
so that, as you have blessed us,
we may be a blessing for others,
bringing the promise of the kingdom near
by our words and deeds.


We pray for our dark and dreary world, caught in a Pandemic, a world in need – in need not just of a technical fix, but in need of love and grace, forgiveness and new life, hope, peace and fellowship, in need of renewal, in need of YOU.

This week we pray for:  Child Protective Services, SPCA and all other groups or agencies that protect the vulnerable


Hear us now as we pray as Jesus taught us saying, Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever.  Amen

HYMN  Worthy is the Lamb


O Lord, as you have made disciples of us, now you send us into the world to make disciples of others. Go with us and be our guide, that the witness of our lives may confirm the testimony of our lips. Amen.

SUNG BLESSING:  Blessed be the name of the Lord