Two people are on their way to a village called Emmaus. As they are walking they are talking and discussing the events surrounding the recent crucifixion and then resurrection of a man named Jesus of Nazareth. Whilst they are still travelling the risen Jesus himself approaches them and joins them on their journey, though neither of the people recognises him. Jesus asks them what they are discussing together and they share the story of the recent events with him. Jesus then proceeds to talk with them, engaging in their discussion, and opening up the scriptures with them, revealing what is said in all the scriptures about himself; though still they don’t recognise him. Nearing the village the two people invite Jesus to stay with them and he accepts their invitation. Later at the table, Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, and breaks it and hands it to them. At that moment they recognise Jesus; it’s as if their eyes have been opened. And they ask each other: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us?”
This same Jesus of Nazareth, earlier on in his life, asked people to be disciples. In the New Testament, the word disciple often refers to being a follower or one who learns. So Jesus asks us to be learners. Learners of his way of living. And he doesn’t ask people to do this alone; he doesn’t choose one disciple he chooses a community of learners, to journey together and learn together. On many occasions people gathered around him and listened to his teachings. Men and women alike would even sit at his feet to learn.
Now, we’re not so worried about actually sitting at people’s feet, but we like the symbolism of what this represents and we want to affirm being continuous learners of Jesus’ way, and the context of learning in community. Not one of us is a perfect representation of Jesus, yet each one of us carries something of the image of God in us that manifests itself in our different natures, characteristics and gifts. We recognise the diversity of humanity and of God’s people, and if we recognise that we can learn from one another, then the journey to being more Christ like can thrive.
Our desire is for Emmaus road experiences.