Has there ever been an instant in your life where something is revealed to you that you weren’t aware of before, or that you had an inkling of but then it is suddenly certain? It’s been nearly a week since Easter Sunday, and we are filled with the joy of the resurrection. However, not everyone saw Jesus straight away. Two friends journeyed to Emmaus, talking over everything that had happened and the rumours that were going around.
They were joined on their journey by a stranger who asked questions and explained scripture to them. I wonder if they had some inkling of who the stranger was but were too frightened to really believe. When they arrived at the place where they were staying they encouraged the stranger to stay and eat with them. It was a pleasant meal – then, in the simple act of breaking bread, they realised who was sharing their meal.
I often wonder what was so special about the way Jesus blessed and broke bread that revealed his identity to them. The two friends would have seen it happen many times – when the 5000 were fed, and the many meals they had shared with Jesus. Something special happened in that moment, and they realised it was Jesus. Then they began to wonder why they had not realised it before.
A hymn that speaks of the experience of meeting Jesus on the road is ‘Because you came’ by Shirley Murray (Singing the Faith 420), which asks for forgiveness for the times we haven’t recognised God in our daily lives. A more contemporary hymn that looks at walking the journey with God and learning from the encounter, as the disciples did on the road to Emmaus, would be ‘Come with me, come wander’ by John Bell and Graham Maule (Singing the Faith 462).
we thank you that you are always beside us,
even when we don’t recognise you are there.
Thank you for making yourself known to us in different ways:
in water, wine, bread, light, and the many things around us.
Forgive us for the times we fail to recognise you with us;
give us the eyes to see and the ears to hear you every day.