The Road to Emmaus

By Sue Doggett

Road to Emmaus
The Road to Emmaus Janet Brooks-Gerloff 1992

In Luke’s Gospel, we find this beautiful story about the two disciples walking the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. As they walk, they are discussing the events of the previous three days: the trauma and pain of Jesus’ death upon the cross; the stories of an empty tomb and a risen Lord. Their hearts are full of sorrow, their spirits downcast, their minds perplexed. Suddenly Jesus draws along beside them. He falls into step with them, but they fail to recognise him.  I have found poignant parallels in this story with the current situation we find ourselves in due to the Covid-19 crisis. I, too, have found my heart full of sorrow, my spirit downcast, my mind perplexed. How is it that the unimaginable has become our new reality with such sudden force? The story of the Road to Emmaus is a story of transformation. Through Jesus, sorrow is turned to joy, uncertainty to the certain hope of the very real presence of the risen Lord, who walks alongside us, unpacks Scripture for us, sits and eats with us, and breaks bread at our table.  In this time of change and uncertainty, the road ahead for many of us seems sad and lonely. We may fail to see the risen Lord who walks alongside us as we take our daily exercise, who rests with us in our gardens and sit quietly beside us in our indoor space.  May we know the reality of his presence with us today and throughout the coming week. May we be kept safe in his love, our hearts warmed by the surety of his redeeming grace. Suddenly their eyes were opened, and they recognised him… they said to each other, ‘Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?’

Sue Doggett