Reflection on the Lectionary Sunday 23rd April 2023

The set gospel reading for this Sunday is Luke 24:13-20, 25-31, The road to Emmaus. A Mediation is by Rev. Nick Fawcett, author of the book No Ordinary Man, written from an imagined experience of Cleopas

So that’s who it was!

I see it now, staring me in the face. But how could we have not realised it before?

That’s what I don’t understand.

You see, we’d been to Jerusalem, watched with our own eyes what they did to him, even stood at the foot of the cross, yet we didn’t recognise him when he walked beside us. Why? Was it sorrow that blinded us, our hearts too full of grief to glimpse the truth?

It’s possible, for we were devastated, there’s no denying that; we’d thought he was the one we longed for, coming to redeem our people, and it had been a terrible blow after arriving full of hope, anticipating his kingdom, to see him nailed to that cross, bruised and broken, the life seeping from his bleeding body.

We’d been so certain, so sure he was the Messiah, but we’d seen his death and were making our way back home, our dreams in tatters, our lives in ruins.

That could have clouded our eyes unquestionably, for we had little time for anything or anyone.

He was the last person we expected to meet, I can tell you that.

Oh, I know he’d talked of rising again, returning from the grave – we were talking of it even as we walked, but we’d taken it with a pinch of salt, and in our hearts, we’d given him up, reluctantly making our way back to reality. We never imagined for a moment we might see him; the thought simply never entered our heads.

So yes, perhaps that explains it, why for all that time the penny failed to drop.

Yes, it was more than that, for it wasn’t finally the face we recognised at all. It went far deeper, the way he spoke, the way he acted, the way our hearts burned within us as we walked. And above all the meal that we shared.

He took the bread, and broke it, and suddenly we realised with a certainty nothing could shake, that this was Jesus, risen, alive, victorious.

Yet even as we saw it, he disappeared, vanishing before our eyes, and we’ve never seen him since.

It’s funny that, isn’t it, how we saw him most clearly when we couldn’t see him at all,

 How our eyes were opened when we weren’t even looking —

 And how we know he’s with us now,  even though he’s departed from us!

Nick Fawcett: No Ordinary Man

A hymn from Singing the Faith, (S.T.F.308) also describes the story.

Prayer: We pray that we may recognise Jesus as the stranger walking alongside us

giving us support and guidance; that we too when needed can be that stranger who walks alongside giving support to others.  Amen