Summary: The story of the Emmaus road - it all sems to be much to handel.. We just have to talk about it.
10 pounds in a 5 pound bag – Emmaus Road
Do any of you remember the “I love Lucy show” where Lucy and Ethel got jobs in the chocolate factory? They were putting the candies in the boxes and the conveyor belt starts out slow and they comment how easy it is. Then the amount of candy increases. They can’t keep up. Pretty soon Lucy starts eating one so often to keep up. It in not long before she takes her hat and starts hiding the extras in it eventually she and ether are putting chocolate down their tops….basically they can’t keep up with the stream at all. No matter what they do the candy keeps coming and they are fighting a losing battle.
I think that was one of the funniest scenes in TV comedy I have ever seen. They were over whelmed with the constant flow and eventually lost it all.
Here we are the 4th Sunday of Easter and I am sill talking about that first Easter Sunday. We have moved to a story of two disciples that are not in the inner circle of the 12 now 11.
We have Cleopas and unnamed person…I say person because we don’t know from the scripture wither it is two men or a man and a woman.
We don’t think that they are just people that heard the stories abut Jesus because the text makes it clear that they would have recognized him. They are talking over all that has happened as they leave the city of Jerusalem.
Doesn’t that sound so natural and normal? When bad things happen we sit around and talk through what we know…we vent our anger, share our pain.
When we have a loss, we talk about it and it helps us when we share our grief. I
So our story takes place mid-morning, maybe after breakfast. It is late enough that they know the story that the women tell. The empty grave!
But, the idea is just a little too strange.
The information of the past week has been like the conveyor belt on the I love Lucy episode…
at first the information was great, they were probably with the crowd that entered with Jesus on Palm Sunday. They enjoyed the positive things they experiences as they came into the city. The excitement of Passover was always great.
This whole experience was gong so good……
then the line speed up - the arrest and crucifixion…..
OH my this was more that a normal person could take.
The scripture gives us a destination for our travelers. Emmaus 7 miles away from Jerusalem. Some say North West.
Emmaus means “hot baths.” That sounds pretty interesting especially if you are traveling. Maybe it was a tourist spot sort of a health resort.
Why were they headed there? We don’t know from scripture. Perhaps several things….was Emmaus the place only place they could get a room for the Passover. The city had been packed, like when I go to conference and I hotel is at least 10 miles away. I get up early to go in and leave late from downtown.
Perhaps they are headed home. It was time to head home after the Sabbath, vacation was over and on top of that it had been a really strange week.
But my real question why were they leaving. For them, was this journey with Jesus something that just ended? Was the stream of information just too wild and uncertain? Were they leaving to reach a safe place away from the authorities?
The scripture tells us that they were talking about all the things that had happened. They are having a personal conversation, sharing their thoughts on the experience. They are just two friends or perhaps a father and son, or maybe a husband and wife.
Walking along sharing their feelings, fears , emotions and disappointments and Jesus scoots up from behind them…
I am sure they hear the foot steps and he nears them, perhaps they look back and see he is alone and does not look too threatening. The conversation pauses as the size up the situation.
Jesus strikes up the conversation, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?
They just stop right there in the road, they are described as downcast…
They looked like they lost their best friend…and in way we know they have.
His simple question brings the emotion of what they experiences and heard bout to the top. I know you have experienced the feeling when someone ask you bout a recent loss of a loved one.
For a moment the wave of emotion causes them to stop. They struggle to hide the flash of grief and pain.
Maybe Cleopas needs just a moment to make sure his voice does not crack. Maybe that is the polite thing to do when a stranger approaches and wants to talk.