Walking and Talking With a Stranger
The couple were sadly plodding home to Emmaus, away from the recent tragic events in Jerusalem. They were Disciples of Jesus Christ. As they went, they tried to make sense of all that had happened - HOW COULD it happen? As they were deep in conversation, they did not at first notice that a Stranger had joined them.
Now, we observers know that the "Stranger" is their Teacher and Lord, but that God had placed blinding scales upon the eyes of their minds and spirits; a temporary prosopagnosia from on-high. They knew him not.
"What is it you are so hotly debating?", the hidden one asked. The question so astounded them, that they stopped dead in their tracks, right there, in the middle of the path.
The man named Cleopatros (the Glory of the Father, "but call me Cleopas") did not answer the Stranger's question, but rather, asked a question of his own: "Have you been on the Moon? How can you not know of what has been going on in Jerusalem these last days?" Maybe, this was a spy of the state-police seeking to entrap them?
"What are these goings-on that are troubling you two so much?"
With that, their reserve broke, and in a torrent of released emotion, they spoke one over and with the other, tumbling along together: "All the stuff with Jesus of Nazareth a mighty Prophet of God to the people and that our treacherous Chief Priest and our religious leaders handed him over as a goat to the Occupiers to be tortured and murdered on their damned cross even though we had such hope in him that he were the one to redeem the people but now and now it's been three days since his cruel execution but this morning some of the women of our group came running to us and shocked us they were early to the tomb to finish preparing the body but did not find it (the body not the tomb) they were out of breath when they told us that they had seen angels who told them that our Rabbi was alive so some of us went to the tomb and found it empty but did not see anything..."
"Oh how silly," said he of whom they had spoken, "are you so slow to remember what the Prophets have told you of the Messiah? Hasn't it been written that Anointed One would suffer before entering into his glory?" They began to walk again, and he taught them all the things that scripture said of him.
As they approached their village, Cleopas' wife begged him to stay in their home before journeying on the next day. As they sat down to table for a light supper, the strange man did a strange thing - he assumed the role of the Host, without asking. As the Host, he blessed their bread and broke it for them, and then he served them. This simple act of service is what did it - the glamour was lifted from him and they at last knew him. As soon as they could see him, he was no longer to be seen! He had vanished.
Those who not that long ago were sightless, suddenly had 20/20 hind-sight: "I knew it all along!"; "Weren't our spirits on fire with the Spirit as he was revealing and interpreting scripture to us?"
Even though night had settled, they could not stay home; they had to tell someone! So they walked back to Jerusalem; their feet so much lighter than before; their heads so much higher than before. They sought out the hiding place of the underground Apostles and the women from their group who took care of them and nurtured them in their despair. After a secret knock, they were let in and overheard: "He has indeed risen! Simon saw him!"
Then the two from Emmaus testified to the others what had happened during their walk home, and how the knowing came with the breaking of the bread at their table; the intimacy of revelation.
From Luke, Chapter 24.
(photography by tiwago)