I thought I’d share with you a reading from my book, The Bible Story Retold, and something from Prayers and Verses, as we continue thinking and praying through Easter this year. As with all the Sunday Retold series, I hope it will be of help for all ages, wherever you find yourself.
Things often emerge while walking. Conversations can be deeper. These two disciples, possibly husband and wife – Mary, wife of Clopas was at the foot of the cross – were leaving Jerusalem, their world fallen apart, talking over all that had happened.
Maybe, when we are out walking, we can be open to noticing the ways we need to talk through our fears and sadnesses, and then, be open to the possibility of a new perspective, a new vision, a new life. It’s worth noticing how Jesus gave them time and space to tell them their story from their own perspective, and then, how he invited them into a new way of looking.
On the road
Two of Jesus’ followers left Jerusalem that day, walking to the village of Emmaus. While they walked, they began to talk about all that had happened. And as they shared their grief and bewilderment, Jesus joined them and walked with them. But they did not know who he was.
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
They stopped, and stood still on the white, dusty road. “Are you the only one from Jerusalem who doesn’t know what’s been going on?” said Cleopas.
“Tell me!” said Jesus.
“There was a prophet called Jesus of Nazareth, a true man of God. But the chief priests handed him over to be killed, and he was crucified.” Clopas paused. “We had hoped he was the one God had promised from long ago. But then…. today, some of the women went to the tomb and came back saying it was empty, and that Jesus was alive!” For a moment, hope glimmered in Cleopas’s eyes, but then he shook his head.
“But don’t you see?” Jesus said. “Haven’t you read the teachings of the prophets? Don’t you know that these things had to happen?” And so he began to explain. It was as if he were unrolling scroll after scroll along the road before them – all the Law, and all the teachings of the prophets – letting them see that the Messiah had to suffer and die and rise again.
“Stay with us, it’s getting dark!” the pair said as they came to Emmaus. So Jesus stayed at their home. Then, at the table, he took bread, and blessed it, and broke it to share with them. In that breaking and sharing of bread, their eyes were suddenly opened and, with a gasp, they recognized it was Jesus who sat before them. But then he slipped from their sight.
“Did you feel it too, as we walked along? That buning – that deep, rising joy – that sudden understanding?” they asked each other as they grabbed their cloaks. And they set off back to their friends in Jerusalem through the thickening darkness, laughing with joy, and leaving their supper on the table.
You can read the story in Luke’s gospel
From Prayers and Verses
When we are sad, help us to speak of our sorrow, and hear words of hope. Help us know you walk with us, as you walked with the two on the Emmaus road. Help us to recognise you in the breaking and sharing of bread, as you warm our hearts with your joy.
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