Luke 24: 28-32
Two people walking to Emmaus on Easter afternoon, discussing all the events of the week, are joined in their conversation by Jesus who walks with them, but they don’t recognize him. Grief clouds our thinking. They explain to Jesus the events of the week from their perspective. He, on the other hand, takes them to their own ethnic history, the stories of the prophets, to give them a new perspective for their experience. The two are so touched that they invite this stranger to stay with them and they dine. As Jesus breaks bread with them, their eyes are opened and they recognize Jesus. As we share the stories of our history and as we dine together, we begin to see that which is common to us all and our identities become more apparent. The person explaining the prophets is indeed Jesus.
When Serendipity first became a dynamic in the 70s, I went to a conference and was deeply touched when they said people must laugh together and share history before they can meaningfully pray together. We do not sit down and pray with strangers unless it is artificially organized in a meeting. For the church, it is in the communion experience that we remember Jesus in a physical, three-dimensional way. “This is my body, broken for you.” “This is my blood shed for you.” “Remember.” We remember we are forgiven and can drawn near to God who is present.
In “Lion King” the father lion, Mufasa, challenges his son, Simba, “Remember who you are! You are more than you have become.” We all have various ways to get in touch with ourselves, our truth and God. Prayer is common. A labyrinth works for many. Some visit cemeteries. We keep mementos and keepsakes of our departed. For these two people, it was in the breaking of bread that they recognized Jesus. So how do you recognize Jesus has come near you? Does your heart burn within you? Do special songs or verses come to mind? Spend a minute thanking God that he is alive and draws near and is willing to reveal himself to us at the right time.