There is a great New Testament story that comes among the stories of Easter. It is of two disciples who are walking on the road to Emmaus. Emmaus (Ἐμμαούς in Greek or חמת Hammat means “warm spring”) was an ancient town located approximately 7 miles northwest of present day Jerusalem. In the Gospel of Luke it says, “Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.”
I can’t tell you how many time while taking a walk and thinking and praying understanding or some revelation has come to me. It is partly the distraction that catapults me into new thought and perspective. Carl Sandburg the great writer used to walk the paths near his North Carolina home at night and then write through the evening. He then would sleep during the day. We sometimes forget the power of a simple walk.
As the story from Luke goes, the two walkers sat down for a cook-out with Jesus toward the evening it would seem, “Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’ So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, ‘The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!’ And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.”
This next week invites us to a journey of doubt and fear and faith. Yet, as we walk through Holy Week more and more will be revealed about who we are and how much God cares about all of us. We will discover that it is not just the breaking of the bread with each other but the sharing of our bread with others that will make us truly content. What did Jesus do – wash feet, heal, feed, cry, sacrifice, laugh, sing, pray, teach, walk – all the things of a life lived well and a life lived with others in our thoughts and not just ourselves.