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They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ Luke 24.32
How might we have responded if we’d been amongst the first to meet the risen Jesus?
We could imagine ourselves as the unnamed companion of Cleopas on the road to Emmaus. It’s not certain who it was, even whether man or woman, and many have meditated on the scene placing themselves as that person. Especially when life has been particularly difficult. Looking for answers, needing explanations, whether directly from the scriptures or hearing from a wise person. The pictures I’ve seen, and the way I’ve always imagined the road to Emmaus that night, is of just the two people who are then joined by Jesus. The road could actually have been busy with other people leaving Jerusalem after the Sabbath following the Passover celebrations. It doesn’t matter, but it made me think about how easy it is to assume things which aren’t actually written.
The first Easter was a new beginning, just as it is for us facing the many challenges of the 21st century. In the words of St Teresa of Avila: ‘Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.’
If we hear that just as individuals it is far too huge a weight to bear. So we must also let others be as Christ to us. Pulling together, reaching out to each other of all faiths and none, working through our differences, building trust, locally and in the wider world, caring for the planet – we could really share the hope and love which Easter brings.
Reverend Liz Gibson, Lochdon, Isle of Mull.