April 19, 2017

Emmaus Road: Walking Enlivened

Luke 24:28-35

Their eyes were opened and they recognized him. . . . “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

—  Luke 24:31-32

The Emmaus road disciples were in the dark about what had happened in Jerusalem until Jesus enlightened them. Yet they still didn’t recognize him. As they approached Emmaus, Jesus seemed to be going further. Being hospitable, they invited him to dinner and overnight. But then their guest became their Host. He gave thanks, broke the bread, and served the meal.

Who was this who took on the role of host in someone else’s home? He was the Son of God! He was exercising his right and responsibility to bless his own! Finally they recognized him, not just with their eyes but also in recalling their “hearts burning within.” That had started as they walked with him and he explained the Scriptures.

The Emmaus disciples went back immediately to Jerusalem. Their enthusiasm was infectious. Imagine faith so heartwarming that you must share the news! Or have modern marvels and today’s skepticism doused the fire? Restoration is still found as we walk with Jesus, listen to his Word, and spend time with him in prayer.

We never hear about Cleopas and his companion again. Maybe they became missionaries of the good news. So could we. Our stories won’t be written in Scripture, but they can be written in the lives of others, enlivening them with our witness by walking the resurrection road.

Lord, our hearts burn within us as we realize all you have done for us. Give us words to share the news—and courage to speak of you. Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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