Some of my best memories involve walks. I vividly recall hiking with the Scouts in the Sierras, meandering around the twin lakes at Notre Dame with my wife-to-be, and watching my daughters take their first tottering steps. For most people (and may God be very near to those who are not able), moving along on two legs is a fundamental human experience. And it is often a metaphor for other aspects of life.
We find that happening with our text this Sunday from Luke 24:13-35. That meeting of Jesus with two disciples on the road to Emmaus and their subsequent walk together is both an actual historical physical event involving three human bodies in motion and a symbol of what Christian life is meant to be.
One of the key features of that Emmaus road stroll is the instruction which the two walkers with Jesus received upon the way. I can’t count the times I’ve heard someone express the wish to have been in on what verse 27 depicts, “Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.” The thought is often how much better we might ourselves understand those Scriptures if we had only been able to walk along and hear Jesus explain them.
The truth of it is that what we have in the New Testament is the fruit of that conversation and many others that Jesus must have had with His followers. What the Hebrew Scriptures say about Jesus is interpreted for us in what the New Testament writers set down for we who’ve come after them. Though our own sandals may not be covered in the dust of Palestine, we are blessed to walk with Jesus and be instructed whenever we take up and read what was written by those who did literally step alongside Him.
Walking also involves choosing a direction. Walking with Jesus means going where He is going. For some that may mean a long journey, either literally or metaphorically. But like the two on that Easter evening, I think we find the destination Jesus has in mind is actually our own home, the place in which we already live. Jesus wants to come with us there and make Himself known to us in all the ordinary and usual walks of our lives. Let us meet Him there, on the road home.