Dear Easter People,
I will always remember the time seventeen years ago when I traveled to a wooded area outside of Jerusalem to walk the old road to Emmaus. It was on this road that Jesus met two disciples after the resurrection. Little did they realize their lives were about to change. The story is recorded in Luke 24:13-35.
Like many United Methodists in southeastern Ohio that are blinded by preoccupation with their own difficulties, these two disciples’ sadness and hopelessness seemed to prevent them from seeing God’s redemptive purpose in things that had happened. And yet, the risen Christ “came near and went with them,” lighting the fire of God’s love in their hearts. As they walked to Emmaus, Jesus explained to them the meaning of all the scriptures concerning him.
When they arrived, Jesus “took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them,” and their eyes were opened. In that moment, they recognized him as Jesus, the risen Lord, and they remembered how their hearts had burned within them as they talked with him on the road. Within the hour, the two disciples left Emmaus and returned immediately to their friends in Jerusalem. As they told stories about their encounters with the risen Lord, Jesus visited them again with a fresh awareness of his living presence.
As we celebrate Easter, perhaps you are downhearted like those disciples. Cling to the fact that hope is alive. Wherever you are, whatever your path, Jesus has walked that road. Wherever you are going, remember you are not alone. He’s closer than you think. He is walking with you and among you. He is on your Emmaus road.
Another disciple on the journey,