May 1: Burning Hearts

Yesterday we explored Luke’s traditional Easter narrative to begin Luke 24.  But today, we depart any extant resurrection text to happily traverse uniquely Lukan material, a hugely consequential story to our Prayer Book worship and indeed to the entire catholic tradition.  Today we go to Emmaus.

This is Luke’s signature resurrection story, Luke 24:13-35, and one of his anchoring gospel accounts in Luke-Acts altogether.  His signature is clear….all significant Lukan teaching happens on the road as it does here.  The saving suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus fulfills God’s cosmological arc of salvation set in motion in creation itself, interpretively punctuated by countless patriarchs, prophets, monarchs and priests over Israel’s history.  Jesus’ resurrected self must interpret these scriptures before the disciples can grasp who it is speaking to them, and their eyes are opened by an overtly eucharistic moment at table.  How many times must Jesus feed them for them to comprehend God’s plan?  (Loaves and fishes, Last Supper, here)  They instantly know Jesus as He invokes God’s blessing upon the bread, and He vanishes miraculously as if that moment is all they need.  They rush back some distance, at night, to the sheltered in place disciples to breathlessly disclose this amazing day.  All of this the same day, Easter Day, beginning tomb side in the early morning.  And their hearts burn as Jesus walks next to them.

Wow.  Can you see here easy textual evidence of Luke’s church’s resurrection proclamation coming literally out of the theological ground of the late first century?!  Can you see the constitutive connectivity between the reading/interpretation of scripture and the enjoyment of a meal hosted by our Risen Lord functioning as a reminder of His on-going presence in our daily lives?!  Can you see how this meal easily began quickly to represent that ultimate, eternal banquet feast forever served in the Kingdom of the Heavens at the end of chronological time?!  What a scriptural resurrection feast in itself?!

  1. There are four viable locations for the biblical Emmaus present in today’s Holy Land.  Where is yours right now pray tell?!  You know, the place to which you think you were headed towards when Jesus interrupted the existential TripTik (am I dating myself here?!  Remember those?!) to break into your life and walk alongside you?  Note we don’t get to stay long there!
  2. Does your heart burn within you to hear Jesus interpret all the scriptures concerning Himself?!  When has your heart burned in a spiritually beautiful way?
  3. How does this amazing narrative impact your faith journey, your perspective upon our eucharistic worship tradition, or your experience of the Risen Christ?  Feel free to join them on the road in your sacred space, and listen in!!!  Perhaps Jesus has a special word for you when you do?!

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