Day 7 - Conversion
Day 7 - Conversion
[The two disciples] drew near to the village to which they were journeying – and [Jesus] pretended to be journeying further. But they pressed him, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day has already declined.’ And he went in to stay with them. And it turned out, as he lay down [to eat] with them, he took the loaf, and blessed [it] and broke [it] and handed [it] over to them – and their eyes were opened wide, and they recognised him! And he vanished from them.
And they said to each other, ‘Wasn’t our heart burning within as he was talking to us on the journey? As he was opening up the scriptures to us?’
And they got up at that moment and returned to Jerusalem, and found the Eleven gathered, and their companions, who were [all] saying, ‘The Lord really is risen, and he’s appeared to Simon.’ And they in their turn related the things that had happened on the way, and how he’d been recognised by them in the breaking of the bread.
The disciples on the Emmaus road encounter a stranger who helps them make sense of the past in a new light. They respond by inviting him to stay with them. The stranger gives himself away by, literally, giving himself away to them. He is the risen Jesus, and he leaves them with hearts that burn and with eyes that see. Not only does he help them to interpret the past in their new experience of him as Lord, he gives them a new future. They can now face Jerusalem even in the dark, and they return to share their story with the others.
Our own stories may not sound very different from the two downcast disciples on the road to Emmaus: we too may be covered in disappointment; we too may have a past that makes little sense to us. But we are invited to tell our stories to the Lord, to listen to him as he speaks his word, and to recognise him in the breaking of the bread. Only then can we look with understanding at the past, and with hope look to the future. What makes your heart burn within you?
As we walk away defeated and disillusioned, Jesus meets us.
As we sling insults at one another, Jesus stands alongside.
As we tell our stories of bemusement and betrayal, Jesus listens.
As we stand still gloomily Jesus waits, ever present
and then breaks in walking with us,
opening and explaining
accompanying, comprehending, unpacking
until the moment comes in an ever-familiar action
when we realise that the one for whom we waited
has been present all along…