Recently, one of our pastors along with others in our area spent a weekend participating in a spiritual movement called “Walk to Emmaus.” The walk begins on Thursday night and ends Sunday afternoon with a worship service celebrating the journey. Those who experience the walk talk of vital lessons learned, lives forever changed, new friendships and commitments made toward greater ministry for Christ.
The “Walk to Emmaus” weekend is based on the last chapter of the Gospel of Luke where two disciples walking toward the town of Emmaus encounter a stranger who we know is actually the newly risen Jesus Christ. As the disciples struggle with what happened, Jesus explains why the road of suffering leading to his death on the cross was necessary. Then Jesus reveals himself:
Luke 24:28-31 — “By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if He were going on, but they begged Him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So He went home with them. As they sat down to eat, He took the bread and blessed it. Then He broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And at that moment He disappeared!”
This is the “Emmaus” moment. The disciples’ eyes are opened upon seeing the newly resurrected Jesus Christ for the first time. The “Walk to Emmaus” is designed through a series of talks and dramatic reenactments to enable others to have the same experience.
Equally important is how the disciples respond after seeing the risen Christ.
Then in Luke 24: 32-34: “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?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”
How do the disciples respond?
- With hearts burning within them.
- Within the hour they were on their way.
- Back to Jerusalem to share with others.
With burning hearts, they were quickly on their way back to tell the “Good News” of the risen Christ to others. With burning hearts, those who complete the “Walk To Emmaus” are sent back to their families, their churches and their communities to share the “Good News” with others.
What do we learn from “Walk to Emmaus?” Should we all go on our own “Walk?” You could and if you write, I can put you in touch with someone. More importantly, this is a story about the miracle of seeing the risen Christ and how we should appropriately respond. Jesus Christ is walking with us already on the road to Emmaus. He is ready to reveal the truth and help us experience the risen Christ for ourselves.
So, with burning hearts, our response is to go back and share our experiences with others. How?
For the answer to this question – God created the local church. The local church is God’s way of giving you the opportunity to live out the miracle of Christ living in you. So, I look forward to seeing you in church and being a part of you living out your “Emmaus” miracle.