Luke 24:13-34

Read Luke 24:13-34
There are walks etched in my memory—childhood jaunts along Saylorville Lake, treks across cities and college campuses, morning jogs along the Mediterranean Sea when I studied in France, daily commutes across the Charles River in Boston, and walks in every neighborhood I’ve ever lived. During the past few months, walks have taken on new meaning, have become medicine to me, a quiet space to pray with my husband, sweet time with adult children soon off to college, recess for the youngest ones, and a chance to emerge from quarantine and connect with friends.
Walks have been paths of grace to pound out prayers on the pavement, process grief and gratitude, and wonder what it all means—what greater good God is working out underneath the pain of pandemics, riots, unrest, and racial inequality.
If I had been a long ago follower of Jesus, and if I had found myself still alive after the entire world went dark and He died, if I had heard the rumors about angels and empty tombs . . . if all of that, then most certainly, I would have hit the dusty trails to Emmaus. Cleopas and his friend feel like kindred spirits to me. I imagine running into them on the trails along Beaver Creek, discussing global pandemics and racial injustice, ‘looking sad.’ I imagine Jesus approaching us to ask what we’re talking about, and I imagine our response echoing the response of Cleopas. ‘Haven’t you read the headlines? Don’t you know what’s going on?’
The very day He rose from the dead, Jesus falls into step with these two men, and He tells them His own story, ‘beginning with Moses and all the prophets, interpreting in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.’ Jesus, resurrected Son of God, is so magnetic, His words so compelling, that Cleopas and his friend invite Him to stay, and Jesus accepts. As Jesus breaks bread with them, their eyes are opened. They recognize Him, just before he vanishes from their sight, asking each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road?’
We may not be able to walk alongside Jesus, but with the Holy Spirit within us, we walk as the body of Christ, as His hands and His feet. Like Jesus on the road to Emmaus, the Holy Spirit interprets the Scriptures, ‘that we might understand the things freely given us by God’ (1 Cor. 2:12-13)
Our own hearts burn within us as words of life leap off ancient pages, and we feel it again and again, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise (Duet. 6:7), that surely the Lord is in this place.

Rebecca Janni | Author

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