May 29th, 2022


Luke 24:13-35: The Emmaus Road

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.

24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

A Reflection by Rev. Marthame Sanders

This is an original song, "Slow of Heart", inspired by Luke 24:13-35 and the road to Emmaus. 

The gospel story is a reminder of the fleeting nature of faith. We have these glimpses, these moments of God's presence. But they don't last. Jesus spends three years with the disciples, performing miracles and gathering a following. That season comes to a bloody end. When the two disciples travel the road to Emmaus with Jesus, they share a journey that reshapes the way they see the world. But as soon as Jesus breaks bread with them and they realize who he is, he vanishes. He then reappears a multitude of times to the disciples, but that gift only lasts forty days before he ascends out of sight.

These moments are temporary, at least in our lifetimes. And so our temptation is to hold onto them with a death grip, refusing to let go even when they have already vanished before our eyes. So instead, perhaps the invitation is to let them go, trusting them to God and to God's time. And perhaps the call is to be Christ's hands and feet, not to recreate the past, but to become partners in creating such moments in the here and now. When we do, they become moments of justice, mercy, and equity that take hold of us.

May it be so.



The author is this reflection and song is Rev. Marthame Sanders, leader of the AIJCast community. AIJCast is a weekly podcast featuring conversations and performances at the intersection of art, inspiration, and justice. We explore the connections between the artist and their art, their sources of and hopes for inspiration, and how it all tries to make the world a better place.