Scripture: Luke 24: 13-16
Now on that same day, two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
Reflection: The beautiful and touching story of the Walk to Emmaus is a familiar post-resurrection story (Luke 24:13-35). The Scripture does not say why Cleopas and another unnamed man are walking away from the disciples in Jerusalem, but they are. They are despondent, disappointed, and devastated by everything that happened during the Passover festival in Jerusalem. Jesus of Nazareth, the one who was going to redeem Israel, was betrayed, crucified, dead, and buried. They had heard that Jesus had risen, but for some reason, they cannot accept consolation much less see how God was at work in all that happened. They sadly walk away from Jerusalem to Emmaus, rehearsing their disbelief and disappointments, the eyes of their hearts unable to see hope.
Suddenly Jesus accompanies them, listening to them, talking with them, walking alongside them. He does not walk ahead of them. Jesus does not walk behind them. He walks with them and listens to their narrative account. He converses with them and helps them to see a larger, hidden narrative of God’s saving activity and presence in all that happened. Jesus encourages the faith of the walkers in the breaking of the bread and reveals himself as the crucified and risen Lord! The two men, hearts burning with joy and hope, return to Jerusalem. They find the Eleven and those with them and tell them how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
There are times in our lives when we experience traumatic events that leave us wounded, disappointed, devastated, and despondent. Our grieving hearts wonder, where is God in all of this? Suddenly, the Risen Christ walks alongside us sharing in our pain and grief. Christ walks alongside us in Spirit, and through the accompaniment of loving and supportive family members, close friends, a loving church community, and through the strength we receive from worship, bible study, and prayer. Suddenly, our wavering spirits are encouraged. Our grief blinded eyes see things in a new way. We find God’s presence and strength in hopeless situations. We can sing a new song of faith with joy. As we experience Christ’s accompaniment and power in our time of need, we are enabled to encourage and point others on their journeys to Emmaus to the source of all hope, Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord and Savior.