“That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:13)
I chose this verse today because this was the story which our young people acted out at Sunday School this week. This scene has a great significance at our church for several reasons.
Shortly after the church was built, the south transept was converted into a side chapel. It was called the Lady Chapel and featured a large painting of the Road to Emmaus. Years later, the Lady Chapel was moved into the Chancel area of the church (the bit up at the east end). This scene was featured again, picked out in a stone motif in the middle of the wall.
The story, in brief is this:
Jesus has been crucified. His followers are distraught. As two of them are travelling away from Jerusalem, they meet a stranger. This man talks to them about the the scriptures. They listen intently. Night closes in and they invite him to stay for a meal. It is only when he breaks the bread at the start of the meal that they finally realise who he is. It is Jesus! Just then, he vanishes.
For Christians, this story has enormous significance. We need to treat every stranger with respect and love. Because every one of them is Jesus, figuratively.
In another passage Jesus says that whatever Christians do for the least of his brothers and sisters, we do it for him.