People of my generation may remember the CBS News segment entitled "On the road with Charles Kuralt". Charles traveled all over the country reporting on people and places seen by few. The people and places were extraordinary in their ordinariness - not the stuff of Hollywood movies. Most of the features were uplifting but some brought tears to your eyes. The roads travelled by Charles bridged the divide between city versus country, black versus white, rich versus poor. The roads were threadlike - binding together a patchwork of communities, states and a nation. And for a few minutes we became invited guests who witnessed the sorrows, the joys, and the hopes of extraordinary, ordinary people just like you and me.
According to Luke 24, two disciples found themselves on the road; they were headed to the village of Emmaus. They walked along the road with a sense of horror and hopelessness; the One they loved and served had been crucified. Yet they had been told an unbelievable story: Jesus was alive! How could that be? They had seen Him beaten and bloodied, crucified between two criminals outside the city gate, and His body laid in a tomb. Dead people don't just get up and walk around! Suddenly, a stranger appears and begin to walk with them. He asks them why they are so sad, and they tell the stranger about recent events. He explains that everything that happened was the fulfillment of what was foretold by the prophets. Then...
"And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them."*
In this journey called life we want someone to walk with us. We want a someone who knows the way- who won't judge or condemn us. The disciples didn't understand what Jesus meant when He told them about the manner of His death or the resurrection. However, once they encountered the living Christ, each took to the roads sharing the Good News message with everyone and anyone they met. Many of them suffered deaths every bit as brutal as their Master's, but they counted it worth it to be considered a true disciple of Christ.
Jesus wants to walk with us and to share in our sorrows, our joys and our hopes. Our lives are symbolic of the walk to Emmaus where Jesus meets us, talks with us, and abides with us. Trust Him; He knows the way. He is the way.
*King James Version