On the Road to Emmaus
As they came near the village to which they were going, Jesus walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
We returned late last Saturday night from our youth service trip to Washington State. During our nine-day service trip there were many Easter moments. One of these moments happened early Easter day.
Forty-seven youth and eight adults began worshipping Easter morning outside around a fire encircled by the towering pines of the pacific northwest. We began as Jesus’ followers began that morning, wondering what would happen now that Jesus had been crucified. We sang “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” We read about the women journeying to the tomb to find the stoned rolled away and an angel telling them that Jesus lived. We stood and sang out into the forest “Christ the Lord Has Risen Today.” We left the fire and walked one of the paths on the property of the retreat center as we read the story of Cleopas and his friend walking the road to Emmaus. As we rounded a corner we could see up ahead a table standing in the middle of the path. Hannah Lee, one of our seniors, was the first to see the table. Her whole face lit up. That unexpected table, set out in the middle of the woods, delighted her. She recognized that table right away and she ran. She ran right to the table, then she turned and smiled back at us with a smile as big as ever. Her joy and delight welcomed us all to the table and we knew in that moment that Jesus and God’s love had been made known to her through the breaking of the bread.
Easter moments – full of God’s grace and delight. What Easter moments have you witnessed?
Gracious God, we give you thanks for the Good News of Easter. We give you thanks for the hope and delight that comes from the Good News of Jesus resurrection. We give you thanks that your love and joy are made known to us in the breaking of the bread.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen.