Imagine that you’re walking down a hot, dusty road, bound for a near-by town, three days after a momentous event. You’re joined by someone who appears to be a stranger. The stranger walks with you. And you chat about the biggest news in the country. The stranger begins to reveal Scripture to you in ways you hadn’t thought about before.
Night is approaching. Being hospitable (like to future Episcopalians!) you invite the stranger to stay the night and to break bread – have dinner – with you. As you eat, something remarkable happens – almost miraculous. You realize the continuity between the Old Testament and what is happening here and now. Scales fall from your eyes. You realize that the stranger is in fact the risen Lord – Jesus Christ. Then He vanishes.
This Easter has been like no other we’ve seen before. We’re isolated from each other. We’re isolated from the panoply of worship and community that has nourished us for so long. We can’t sit and hear a glorious liturgy in person. We can’t enjoy wonderful, sacred music in person.
But maybe it’s an opportunity – an opportunity to remember that the first Resurrection was not neat, clean and clearly revealed at first. It can be small things – a walk with a new companion. Hospitality offered to a stranger. A new insight into Scripture and its constant revelation.
This is the story in this Sunday’s Gospel – the journey to Emmaus. We may be on our own journey to Emmaus – full of uncertainties, with too much big news.
But Jesus Christ is here with us. As Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry preached on Easter Sunday, it’s still Easter. It may not look like Easter. It may not smell like Easter.
But it is Easter.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington