Emmaus was a little-noted town. Luke doesn’t say why the two disciples were going there. They may have been going home, going there on business, or just going there to get away from the terrible things they had witnessed in Jerusalem. Frederick Buechner interprets Emmaus as
The place we go in order to escape—a bar, a movie, wherever it is we throw up our hands and say, “Let the whole damned thing go hang. It makes no difference anyway.” . . . Emmaus may be buying a new suit or a new car or smoking more cigarettes than you really want, or reading a second-rate novel or even writing one. Emmaus may be going to church on Sunday. Emmaus is whatever we do or wherever we go to make ourselves forget that the world holds nothing sacred: that even the wisest and bravest and loveliest decay and die; that even the noblest ideas that men have had—ideas about love and freedom and justice—have always in time been twisted out of shape by selfish men for selfish ends.
The risen Lord meets us on the road to our Emmauses, in the ordinary places and experiences of our lives, and in the places to which we retreat when life is too much for us. The story warns us, however, that the Lord may come to us in unfamiliar guises, when we least expect him.
Where is your Emmaus? Where do you go to escape?
Do you have an Emmaus story? A tale of time when Jesus showed up unexpectedly?
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