The audio is available to listen online or download with notes.
Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection over a period of 40 days (Acts 1:3), proving that he was alive, restoring them from the trauma of his death (renewing faith and following, e.g. Thomas: “my Lord and my God”). The encounters and disappearances weaned his followers from dependence on his physical presence, so that they live by faith in his invisible presence – the indwelling Holy Spirit. The post resurrection stories are paradigms of how Jesus encounters us today by his Spirit, to restore and heal us.
The Two on the Road to Emmaus
Read this beautiful story in Luke 24:13-35 as an exercise in “Lectio Divina”
- Lectio: Read the story slowly and prayerfully, asking God to speak to you… then…
- Meditatio: Meditate on what God says to you through the reading – whatever ‘grabs’ you, a word or phrase that speaks to you, or an image that fires your mind… then…
- Oratio: Pray orally (or mentally) about your meditation on the text; i.e. respond to God by praying about what he says to you in the text via your thoughts, feelings… and then…
- Contemplatio: Contemplation is the last step in Lectio Divina, moving from mediation and prayer to complete silence – beyond thoughts, images, words, feelings – to the still point of simply resting in God’s most intimate and loving embrace.
To help you ‘feed off’ this story – and for discussion in your home group – here are some pointers for meditation (the best is to relive the story in your imagination):
Reconstruct the context in your mind: it’s the Sunday that Jesus rose, they are walking home depressed, traumatized by Jesus’ death, confused by reports of him being alive… their Kingdom hopes utterly dashed. How have you been disillusioned?
Luke emphasizes the road, walking, journey (Luke 24:13-15)… what pain or hurts, unresolved trauma, are you carrying on your life’s journey (note: healing is also a journey)?
Who walks with you in this journey (Luke 24:15)? You are not alone… never! Are you aware of ‘the stranger’ God sends to walk with you? Why are we kept from recognizing him/her?
How does Jesus help them? Why does he use probing questions (Luke 24:17,19,25)?
[To get them to “stand still” (Luke 24:17), to face their pain (stop living past it), to get them to talk about it (to ‘the stranger’ beside them), to verbalize and own the pain, get it out]!
See their answer (Luke 24:19-24). Being in their shoes, would you be disappointed with God?
How does Jesus heal them (Luke 24:25-27)? Note his ‘harshness’, his expectation of them as disciples to know the scriptures – the truth that sets us free – or the lack thereof that leads us to interpret life events in self-destructive ways (by believing Satan’s lies via our brokenness in our minds, imaginations, emotions, senses, etc)
The invite into the home (Luke 24:28-29), what does it symbolize? Why did Jesus “act as if he were going farther?” Note they “urged him strongly”… are you like that with Jesus?
The climax of the story (Luke 24:30-32): how were their “eyes opened”? What was their response? And why did Jesus then just disappear? Jesus makes our table his table by being the host, pronouncing the blessing and… we know him in the breaking of break (but our revelations are subject to community discernment, Luke 24:33-35).