Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” (Luke 24:13 – 24)

I would like to think that the Holy Spirit comes along side of a lot of people, and they are not aware of who it is that is guiding them. I think what is most accurate is that the Holy Spirit uses willing Christians to guide and preach to others. What I would like to think is that the Holy Spirit uses me – yes, I would like that very much. What I would like to believe is that other Christians have placed themselves in the service of the Lord and go where they are directed to help and instruct others.

“Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them.” (Verses 25 – 29)

One of the things that my seminary education taught me was the anyone can place themselves in the service of the Divine, and be used to help others. I do not say that because I thought/think so little of my seminary professions, but because they all believed in me and encouraged me to use the gifts the Divine had given me. Moreover, they gave me space and opportunity to do just that. And because of their encouragement, when the time seemed right, I have offered my services in direction and guidance to others.

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 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?” (Verses 30 – 32)

I grow misty-eyed thinking of the times when my heart “burned” in me, and I saw the same “burning” in the others that I was speaking to. It is not that I caused the “burn” – oh no, beloved reader – far from it. It is that the Lord God is amongst the faithful who seek the Divine. And move them.

“That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” (Verses 33 – 35)

Why was it, I wonder, such a surprising piece of news that the Lord appeared to Peter? Had Jesus the Messiah not yet appeared to any of the other disciples at this point in the gospel of Luke? Or had Peter just told them of his encounter with the Risen Lord and it was fresh in their minds? Or . . . did they (the disciples now apostles) figure out that Jesus appearing to Simon Peter after Peter denied knowing Jesus was a special invoking of blessing on Peter? Peter taught me too that the Divine believes anyone and everyone is worthy of being called and chosen by the Lord God. This Lenten season it was a special blessing to me to incorporate the realization that the Lord God Jesus the Christ sought out Peter specially and individually. May we all be found worthy of a special audience – frequently – with the Divine! Selah!