The road to Emmaus is seven miles long. It is a walk that two followers took on the very day that Jesus rose from the dead. They did not begin their steps on this path to Emmaus with joy. Their steps went forward with a fear that was being shaped by confusion.
These two were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. Jesus did not immediately interrupt their conversation. He drew near to them and went with them. The eyes of these two were kept from recognizing Jesus.
I appreciate that Jesus did not barge into their conversation or bowl them over with his presence. He walked with them and then he asked an inviting question. Jesus’ question does not reveal any anger or revulsion. Jesus said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?”
They stopped walking. They stood still and looked sad.
So in that pause of sadness when words do not come easily, one of them said, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
Over these seven miles these two followers of Jesus will respond to his presence with confusion, wonder and then amazement. As they share their suffering with him, he opens their hearts by opening the Holy Scripture to them. Jesus reveals how all these things that have happened to fulfill the promises of God.
Jesus entered into the walk of these disciples from the other side of time; he strides from timelessness to this moment of fear and confusion.
Jesus enters into our ragged moments to love us.
He reveals himself present in the Scriptures.
He reveals himself in the breaking of bread.
When the followers of Jesus found him present in the breaking of bread and in how he shared the Word with them, they went back to Jerusalem. They went back to where all these things had happened and they became witnesses to the life and peace with God that can be found through all that has happened.
What has happened to bring you to that road to Emmaus?
Do you walk away from some moments in your life with a sadness that does not seem easily explained to any one else?
I invite you to find Jesus drawing near to you in that walk that gets shaped by confusion. He will reveal himself in the Scripture and in the breaking of bread.