Emmaus? What is Emmaus? Actually Emmaus is not a what but a where. It was on the road to Emmaus that Jesus appeared to two believers after he died, appearing as another traveler. (Read the story here in Luke)
You see, Jesus had just been crucified and had risen from the dead. It was amazing and truly beyond belief. And these two were so focused on Jesus’ death and their disappointment over what they expected him to be, that they couldn’t see him for what he truly was. They failed to do this BOTH literally and figuratively. Think about that for a moment. So Jesus quotes the scriptures concerning who he is all the way through and opens their eyes to the fact that he is who the scriptures say he is. And then he reveals himself as Jesus later as he gives thanks and breaks the bread. They see him as he is in scripture, and then they see who he is physically, and then he disappears!
Flash forward to 2005 . . . it is Easter and I cannot see Jesus and celebrate his resurrection through the horrible week that I’ve just had. To top it off I am sitting one of the “overflow seats” along the back wall of the church, one of the few left. I say a simple prayer that I might be able to focus on Jesus and his resurrection and lay my head on my husband’s shoulder with a sigh.
Suddenly I hear a gentle male voice say, “I love you.” Who said that? I look at my husband, and he says, “Huh?” He didn’t say it. There was no one else around me that would say that.
Instinctively I turn to look behind me, and a tear falls down my cheek as I come face to face with the gigantic print hanging right above my seat. It’s of Jesus on the cross, and it is a close up of his upper body at an angle. His right hand extends toward the viewer and seems to be saying, “I love you” in sign language. (You can view the print here.)
I was so focused on my disappointments that I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t see that he was there the whole time, loving me. So he physically told me. He revealed himself to me and then disappeared.
Two weeks after that Easter I became a member at that church. The reading was the story about the believers on the road to Emmaus. Now I could relate! Now it was personal! That day God called me, someone that was deathly afraid to speak in public, to share this story in front of almost 600 people after the service. God spoke through me to tell of a love that he offers to all of us in abundance.
Through others, he offered me encouragement that day, including a person that I barely knew that said that she was happy that others were encouraging me because “she would hate to think this (me sharing in front of others) was a one time thing”. And then, as I walked out of church, God healed me. He healed me of the anxiety and lack of confidence that had crippled my ability to share His love with others.
God is patient. He keeps His promises. He loves us deeply. He blesses obedience to Him when He calls for us to do something. He continues to reveal Himself to me when I earnestly seek Him. This is my Emmaus Awakening.
I welcome you to seek yours, with the One that loves you infinitely more than any one on earth. The One that offers more than anything this world has to offer. God.