I wonder if you are where I am. Not physically. On the inside. Stuck. Heavy. Numb.
I am rereading Luke 24:13-35 about the journey to Emmaus. And an unexpected companion.
The setting is a crushed band of Apostles enduring the ongoing Roman occupation. The followers of Jesus saw their Messiah betrayed, abandoned by followers, desecrated and crucified. The forces of Rome with complicit tyrants continued to extract their toll from the People of God in treasure and blood. A Messiah was foretold, revealed, praised, and now gone.
After everything, no change.
Stuck. Heavy. Numb.
And then the journey away from Jerusalem began.
Jerusalem lay behind them, hopes dashed and disciples disbanded. Journeying toward Emmaus has the familiar theme of the long walk home, a journey of brokenness, defeat, and humiliation.
So many of us have walked toward Emmaus over these two years. Sadness, alienation, loneliness, even bitterness, have been companions on this journey.
It has been a season of loss.
Family Camp is still months away. Winter claws at our windows and doors. We close them tight. Did we close ourselves off, too? How long have you and your family been walking toward Emmaus?
And have you met anyone along the way?
The world looks very different than when we made our first trip to Camp Koinonia as a family in 2006. We are no longer a full table or a full pew of our own! Our family will return to camp, but with only our youngest as a teen staff. We are now storekeepers and mentors to younger families. Has Camp been an oasis for your family on the road to Emmaus?
But sometimes we have to sit in the place of mourning, where we don't know what is coming. We hope and keep walking down the road, waiting for a fellow traveler to join us. One who will break open Scripture, bread, and our hearts.
We mourn and we then rejoice. We, too, will return to Jesusalem, running to share the Good News. In weeks to come, we will again sing “Resurrexit Sicut Dixit” - He is Risen as He Said.
On the Road to Emmaus
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.