The Emmaus story (Luke 24:13-35) is meant to remind us that Jesus meets us wherever we are on our own journeys of faith, and that God through Christ also meets us in the simplest aspects of life such as in nature, through other people, in the inspired Word of God, and even in the sharing of a meal and in the breaking of bread.
God often meets us in the most common places of our lives; revealing God’s self to us in simple and ordinary ways. The Rev Dr. Carlos Wilton calls this phenomenon “The Lord of the Commonplace.” He said, “Why do Cleopas and his friend fail to see the risen Lord? They fail to see because they are looking for the wrong Lord. If the rumors of resurrection are true, they reason, Jesus will surely come in with a company of angels, Prince Regent of the new kingdom of God. The last thing Cleopas and his friend expect to see is a Lord who overtakes them on the road, walking briskly. They are not prepared for a Lord of the Commonplace.”
I wonder if perhaps we too sometimes fall into that same category of blindness and sometimes look for the risen Lord in all the wrong places? I do believe that God is in the minutiae (trivial and minor details) of my life and while sometimes I’d rather not believe that God knows every little thing about my messy little life, I’m usually grateful that God does know all about me. When we remember that God came into the world as a commoner Himself – to get to know what the human condition was all about – why wouldn’t God be able to get into the minutiae of our lives and help us to detangle all the messes we seem to get ourselves into? Most of the time, I’m grateful that the resurrected Christ is there for me when I fall, by extending His hand out to me and helping me back up when I’ve fallen down on my own personal road to Emmaus. Yes, I’m usually grateful, but in those moments when God feels so close that it’s almost uncomfortable, God through Christ also vanishes from my sight, probably realizing that my brain could short circuit if God stuck around for too much longer.
In his book, Bread for the Journey, Henri Nouwen spoke about why Jesus vanishes from our sight. He said, “When the two disciples recognized Jesus as He broke the bread for them in their house in Emmaus, He vanished from their sight. The recognition and the disappearance of Jesus are one and the same event. Why? Because the disciples recognized that their Lord Jesus, the Christ, now lives in them…that they have become Christ-bearers. Therefore, Jesus no longer sits across the table from them as the Stranger, the Guest, the Friend with whom they can speak and from whom they can receive good counsel. He has become one with them and He has given them His own Spirit of Love. Their companion on the journey has become the companion of their souls. They are alive, yet it is no longer them, but Christ living in them.”
Christ is alive, everyone. And He lives in you and in me. And we are invited to share that Good News with others. (REV. PAUL HABERSANG)