Walking On the Road to Emmaus
And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. (Luke 24:13-15)
I have been thinking about this little story in Luke about two disciples walking along the road to Emmaus from Jerusalem. The complete story is found in Luke 24:13-35.
The Bible Dictionary says this:
A village 60 furlongs, or about 5 miles from Jerusalem; generally identified with the modern Kulonieh, on the road to Joppa.
There is a lot to be said about this wonderful story. Imagine having the Lord Jesus Christ appear to you and walk along with you and expound on the scriptures to you. Five miles isn't a long way, but if you are walking, it would take awhile and you would have time for a wonderful conversation with the Lord. Even if you didn't know until later that it was the Lord, as these two did not, it would still be an intriguing conversation.
Walking is often used as a metaphor for traveling through life and for living life in accordance with the Lord's commandments. Or, conversely, for walking in darkness, i.e., not in the ways of the Lord.
What I am thinking about this morning, however, is literal walking. Walking by yourself opens up opportunities for thinking about all sorts of things and also for prayer. Whether you are walking for exercise or to get somewhere, you have this quiet time in your mind and heart which can lead you to insights or to communion with God.
If you are walking with a friend, you have a chance to really talk things over. This is what struck me about the story of the road to Emmaus--that these two disciples (and later, Jesus) had the time and opportunity for an in-depth discussion of the gospel and of recent events in Jerusalem.
I think we miss out on a lot when we don't have this kind of time and opportunity to think, to pray, or to talk with a companion. There are a lot of blessings for us living in this modern age, but whenever I read of the road to Emmaus, I think that one blessing we miss out on unless we make the effort to create it, is to walk along, alone or with someone, with plenty of time to concentrate on something. It can be working out a problem, contemplating nature, prayer, meditating on some aspect of the gospel, or whatever we might want/need to focus on for awhile.
In ages past, people often traveled by foot, but now, it's often a matter of driving to a park (during the daytime, when you have a hope of it being safe) or, if you are blessed to live in the country, of walking around your property or down the road a ways. Even if your choice is to go to a track at the gym, you can usually be alone with your thoughts for awhile at least, although I have to say that I think being out in nature helps this process along.
It just seems like a chance to unwind, give serious thought to things, and let go of the stress of the modern world for a little while. May you find a quiet place to walk.