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“And he said to them,
“What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?
They stood still, looking sad.” Luke 24:17
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Though a full study could be made of this text in its entirety – I’d like to focus in on three simple words that the disciples say to Jesus on the road to Emmaus:
We had hoped.
They don’t know it’s Jesus, they don’t even recognize him,
it’s just a random guy who had been eavesdropping on their conversation who asks them to tell them what they are talking about.
They tell him about Jesus being handed over to the leaders and being killed.
They say: “we had hoped he would be the one to redeem Israel.”
Familiar words aren’t they.
Painful, and poignant, and familiar.
We feel the same way in our own lives:
We had hoped for a different diagnosis.
We had hoped for more time.
We had hoped things would get better.
We had hoped we’d have children.
We had hoped to grow old together.
We had hoped our life would be different.
We. Had. Hoped.
Those three words reflect all the pain and confusion and loss these two disciples felt as they walked away from Jerusalem.
They were sad.
And Jesus goes with them.
He doesn’t say he’s here so now everything is better.
He just walks right along with them, for as long as it takes.
Even though they don’t recognize him.
I think this is the power of today’s text for me.
That Jesus rising from the dead doesn’t magically make things better.
But he’s there.
Even when we can’t see him.
Even when we’re so focused on the hard stuff, on the pain and grief and the way things aren’t how we thought,
he is there.
Walking with us.
For as long as it takes.
Questions for Discussion:
After the disciples recognize Jesus, they look at each other and say, weren’t our hearts burning within us?
That feeling we get, of our heart being stirred up, is one we should take time to listen to.
This week, ask God to stir up your heart for the place God wants you to go and for the things God wants you to do.
Then, harder, go do it.