Walking With Us

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them … Luke 24:13-15

The pilgrim travelers in Luke’s Gospel have decided to go to Emmaus. Imagine their conversation while they are walking along. They speak of the things that have happened. They wonder about the meaning of it all, about the meaning of life and death. They are talking about the world as it was and about the very specific events of their recent past.

In this moment of exploration of life’s most critical questions, Jesus comes alongside and walks with them. I have an image of Jesus wanting to be a part of the great conversation, the most important questions that we face. Notice that Jesus does not enter the conversation with answers; he asks what they are talking about. Jesus joins them, listens to them, hears their sorrow, and hears their loss.

Our most important stories emerge when life is complicated, when life is threatened, when life is ending. Jesus comes to us and we may not recognize him at first. He comes through a friend who will sit and listen to us. He comes through a person who loves us enough to be honest with us. Through these difficult times and the astonishing presence of those who are able to present us with Christ’s love, Luke says Christ appears to us. Our eyes are opened.

Jesus walks very near to us every day. Our relationship with him waits to be discovered and experienced in a deeper and more personal way. Jesus respects our silences. Jesus does not force the conversation, but when we begin to talk of the things that are deepest and most critical in our lives, Jesus will be near at hand and ask, “What is it you are talking about as you walk along?” Your story – our story – is important to Jesus, and Jesus waits to hear it develop.