Grief. Fear. Sadness. Disappointment. Despair. Guilt. Loneliness. These emotions all have a place on the road to Emmaus.
Two disciples: one named Cleopas (whom we have never heard of in Luke before) and an unnamed disciples (perhaps intentionally left anonymous so we find ourselves on that road too) were headed home because they thought the story of Jesus was over.
For whatever reason they had joined the Jesus movement. When Jesus was executed – their hope that he was the Messiah who would “redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21) died with him. They had heard the witness from the women that Jesus’ tomb was empty that morning (Luke 24:22-24); but like the others must have dismissed that proclamation as an “idle tale” (Luke 24:11).
Into this very human response to death and disruption; the risen Jesus joined them on the road. Not recognizing him, they welcomed him to join them as a simple act of hospitality.
Engaging Jesus in conversation on that seven mile journey they were unaware he was with them. They told him what they had known about Jesus and they listened to Jesus explain the whole scripture to them (Luke 24:27). This exchange is remarkable – it is open and conversational; not judgmental or argumentative. One wonders what these two companions were thinking while listening to this stranger. Wouldn’t you want to hear Jesus teach for a couple of hours on the long walk home?
They still did not recognize him until they broke bread together.
Grief. Fear. Sadness. Disappointment. Despair. Guilt. Loneliness.
We do not have to walk this road alone. The risen Christ reveals he is walking with us all along. In the breaking of the bread we see him. In the sharing of the word our hearts burn. We come to Jesus together.
Look for the outsider and outliers. Invite and welcome them. Visit someone who is lonely or hurting and bring a meal. Listen. Share. Jesus will meet you there.
Meet with a small group over food. Discuss the scripture readings for Sunday. Catch-up on your lives. Pray for one another and the world. Jesus will meet you there.
Serve people. Wherever you connect with friends and loved ones and strangers. Look for Jesus in the faces of others. Jesus will meet you there.
Gather with the church for worship. Sing. Pray. Listen. Ponder. Pay close attention to the words. Discover yourself and where God is at work in the stories. Share the Eucharist and meet once more the risen Jesus . As the people of God continue becoming the body of Christ. Jesus will meet you there.
Where will you walk with Jesus on the way?