Luke 24: 13-16
What did you do Easter afternoon? There must have been a football game to watch. Perhaps your family had their Easter feast at 2 or 3 pm so watching a good movie to help the food digest is an option. Monday is a workday so teachers have to get back to planning lessons. For people in war zones, the bombing and fighting continued. On that first Easter, Luke tells of two people who came to the Passover in Jerusalem and who are now headed home to Emmaus. They are talking and digesting the news of the week. As they are talking Jesus approaches and walks with them but they do not recognize him. In fact the text says, “but they were kept from recognizing him.” Not only did they not recognize Jesus, the topic of conversation, but they were walking away from the action.
What kept them from recognizing Jesus? Perhaps it was the rocks in the road. My husband uses a walker and he has to concentrate so hard on walking that I doubt he notices who is even talking to me. Perhaps their expectations blinded them to the reality of the moment. When the doctor gives the diagnosis, the illness is so unexpected that we are stunned and we don’t comprehend what is being said. Remember in the movie “Sulley” when the jet goes down shortly after take off because a flock of birds take out all the engines? The stewardesses are announcing, “heads down” and people are in shock. We see someone from the past who is now older and “out of place” and we don’t recognize the person. Many times, I suspect, Jesus walks beside us and we just plain don’t recognize him because the events of life blind us.
Take a moment and ponder some of the ways that you recognize the divine in your presence. I’m guessing, a visual sighting is a very rare occurrence, if ever. The two people reflect at the end of the scenario, “Were not our hearts burning within us.” For some a thought pops into the mind that rings true to divine suggestion. A verse from Scripture comes to mind that speaks specifically to the dynamic that is challenging you. A peace might flood your soul with the assurance that all is going to be all right. The meaning of resurrection is that often Jesus is walking with us, trying to enlighten us but we may not recognize him. But he is alive and he is present in ways we don’t recognize. Lord, open our eyes that we may see. Open our ears that we may hear. Open our hearts that we may receive the truth you would share with us today.