Never let a good crisis go to waste, part 2 of 4:
Winston Churchill is credited with having said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” though the phrase cannot be found in his recorded speeches, personal notes, or his books. Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel did say it in 2008.[i]
It seems to me that that is exactly our call as Christians living in the weeks following Easter, not only this year, but every year. For Easter, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, created a crisis for the first disciples. What did they do with this new reality? We, as we live in the midst of staying in our homes, get more devotional readings from our pastor because of our current crisis – and thus more opportunities to read some of the many resurrection sightings of Jesus in the Bible. Here, then is reading 2 of 4 of those sightings. Read, reflect, and live your own crisis well.
Today’s story is of Jesus meeting two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Old-time Bible stories that the two disciples Jesus met on the road were two men – Cleopas and some other guy. However, modern biblical scholarship has made a clear point that the two were most likely a man and a woman – Cleopas and his wife, Mary. (The same Mary who shows up at the crucifixion in John 19:25.) This is, honestly, in keeping with who Jesus is: Jesus is here for all of us, no
matter our gender, ethnicity, etc, etc. Jesus breaks bread with all of us. Here now, is the story of the Road to Emmaus, and also a piece of art done in 1970, showing Jesus meeting Cleopas and Mary.
Luke 24:13-35 Common English Bible (CEB)
13 On that same day, two disciples were traveling to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking to each other about everything that had happened. 15 While they were discussing these things, Jesus himself arrived and joined them on their journey. 16 They were prevented from recognizing him.
17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk along?” They stopped, their faces downcast.
18 The one named Cleopas replied, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who is unaware of the things that have taken place there over the last few days?”
19 He said to them, “What things?”
They said to him, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth. Because of his powerful deeds and words, he was recognized by God and all the people as a prophet. 20 But our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the one who would redeem Israel. All these things happened three days ago. 22 But there’s more: Some women from our group have left us stunned. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 and didn’t find his body. They came to us saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who told them he is alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women said. They didn’t see him.”
25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! Your dull minds keep you from believing all that the prophets talked about. 26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27 Then he interpreted for them the things written about himself in all the scriptures, starting with Moses and going through all the Prophets.
28 When they came to Emmaus, he acted as if he was going on ahead. 29 But they urged him, saying, “Stay with us. It’s nearly evening, and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 After he took his seat at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts on fire when he spoke to us along the road and when he explained the scriptures for us?”
33 They got up right then and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying to each other, “The Lord really has risen! He appeared to Simon!” 35 Then the two disciples described what had happened along the road and how Jesus was made known to them as he broke the bread.
[i] Alan Rudnick. https://christiancitizen.us/churches-never-waste-a-coronavirus-crisis/. Accessed 4/7/2020.
[ii] Rowan LeCompte (American, 1925–2014) and Irene Matz LeCompte (American, 1926–1970), Third Station of the Resurrection: The Walk to Emmaus (detail), 1970. Mosaic, Resurrection Chapel, National Cathedral, Washington, DC. Photo: Victoria Emily Jones