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The story of the two disciples walking the road between Jerusalem and Emmaus on the first Easter day (Luke 24: 13-35) is 'one of the immortal short stories of the world'. Their first encounter with the risen Christ is also a model for how we may meet him in our lives.
Hearts Opened The men were 'downcast' , as their hearts were preoccupied with grief. They felt let down by God, as well as bewildered by all they had heard. No doubt their emotions prevented them from recognising Jesus walking with them, even though their hearts ‘burned within them’ at the loss of him. Despite our feelings, Jesus is with us in situations of loss or desolation, as well as when we feel let down by God or by other people. In such circumstances, how have we known Jesus' presence?
Minds Opened Although they knew the Scriptures, they didn't understand what was taught about the Saviour. Therefore, Jesus opened their minds to make sense of the events which they were experiencing. The Holy Spirit also brings God's word alive for us, as He challenges our preconceptions about Jesus.
Eyes Opened The pair only recognised Jesus when He broke bread as they ate together. The turning point came when they invited Jesus into their home, and allowed him to take charge. If we are to recognise Jesus' presence with us, then we will need to open our lives to him. Have you ever done that?
Open hearts, minds and eyes lead to open mouths. Having met the risen Jesus, the disciples couldn’t keep the good news to themselves. Christ is never so truly ours as when we have shared Him with others.
Adapted from a letter first published here in April 2005.
Vicar & Lecturer