“The Road To Emmaus” By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

The Road to Emmaus

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell

Scripture Readings: Luke 24:13-35

Key Verses: Luke 24:21; Luke 24:30-31

“But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.”

“And it came about that when He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.”

I have had occasions where I bumped into an old friend and haven’t recognized them at first. Then after talking a few minutes, we would have discussed something we both knew about and I would recognize my friend. I remember my mother joking about how she and her sister had childhood characters they had developed and that if they were ever separated for many years and were reunited, they would know if the other was an impersonation or not because of certain “security questions”—something like what you might answer as a security question for your password or PIN for your bank. Their childhood characters “Rudolph” and “Yomp Yomp” are revealed in this post—my mother is no longer here to use this information with her sister, so I don’t think there are any security breaches to be had. My sisters and brother and I have similar stories, family jokes, childhood characters that we could use in such a situation. I am sure you have some with your family, as well.

Jesus had been crucified. He was dead. He had not become the political leader that some thought He would be. Many of his followers were disappointed, sad, grieving not only someone they loved and believed in but what He stood for. A man named Cleopas and his companion were followers of Jesus and were travelling by foot, conversing about Jesus, their disappointment, and how they had hoped he was going to redeem Israel. And someone joined them as they walked, asked about their conversation. And this person was engaging and interesting to be with, and He seemed to be able to help them understand scriptures and how Jesus had to suffer and die. He was so interesting, they urged him to stay with them for the evening, as nightfall was coming soon. And so he did.

“And it came about that when He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.”

Would we recognize Jesus if he started walking with us on our way? Would we be so preoccupied that we wouldn’t recognize Him among us? I hope that I would know my scriptures well enough that if He engaged me in conversation about fulfillment of prophesy and signs of the times that I would know Him. The scripture says that the sheep know the Shepherd’s voice—I hope that I would know His voice.

But, I think if He broke bread with me and gave me wine like He did here, I would understand. We celebrate Holy Communion regularly in our church. Every Sunday when we gather, we gather at the table and celebrate in remembrance of Jesus and his death on the cross, His victory over death and His resurrection. We celebrate His covenant with us that if we believe in Him, we are forgiven of our sins, and will enjoy eternal life in Heaven with Him.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Christ, that you were resurrected, and are the Living God who lives forever. May my heart be open to your presence at all times. Amen.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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