by Lesli van Milligen

  • We Belong: Jesus meets two discouraged disciples, and by inviting himself into their sorrow he makes clear to them that they belong. They sense this, for they pour out their hearts to him. What is striking is that this is resurrection Sunday, and this is the longest resurrection story in the four gospels—and the largest section of this narrative is focused on the discouragement of the two travelers! In other words, the foundation of “belonging” is firmly established before the narrative proceeds.
  • We Know and Understand: Jesus then takes time to preach the Word to the travelers. He reframes their narrative of discouragement within the larger narrative of God’s faithfulness. Their eyes had become focused on the immediate, small picture of Jesus’ death. The Word refocuses them on the grand narrative of God’s faithfulness.
  • We Have Hope: But when Jesus is done, the disciples are still hopeless. They invite Jesus into their home, and as he gives thanks, breaks the bread, and gives it to them, their eyes are opened and their hope is restored! The Word and the table together restore hope to their hearts. The intimate, tangible sharing of the bread “seals the deal.”
  • We Are Called and Equipped: Energized again by hope, the disciples leave immediately to share the good news. Hope equips them to take on their calling again.