The story of the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) is beautiful in what I would call its ordinary miraculous-ness. Jesus — having recently suffered, died, and risen from the dead — met two disciples on their way to Emmaus. But they didn’t recognize him. In fact, they were shocked that he had not heard the news of all that had recently taken place. They explained that the man in whom they had placed all their hope to redeem Israel had been crucified and buried, but his body was no longer in the tomb. In response, Jesus said, “Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26, CEB).
This is the scene into which artist Gloria Ssali invites us with her painting, Road to Emmaus. Gloria says, “I love to tell joyful, as well as poignant, moving stories to reveal the heart. I am an artistic wanderer (as well as a true nomad moving with my family when young from Uganda to the UK).”* Road to Emmaus depicts Jesus with his pierced hands resting on the disciples as they walk. The risen Jesus, the Messiah and Redeemer, meets the disciples on the road and walks with them. He meets them where they are, listens to them, and continues to teach them.
As you reflect on the cover art for this issue, I invite you to consider how you encounter the risen Christ in your daily life. When has Jesus appeared to you unexpectedly? Recall moments in your journey when Jesus walked alongside you. What did you learn from these miraculous, ordinary moments?
Cover image courtesy of Gloria Ssali ©2017 Gloria Ssali. Prints of cover art are available from https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/gloria-ssali?tab=about.
I could not have found The Upper Room Moments of Prayer (on Facebook Live) sooner. For it is during these moments of centering spiritual practices, meditating on the words of scripture, praying with and for the world, that I find moments of transcendence, hear whispers of peace and hope, see glimpses of truth and justice, behold visions of love and beauty amid all the stark realities that are around me.”