The men’s mysterious companion takes bread, blesses and
breaks it, and gives it to them. Their eyes are opened; they
recognize him—and he vanishes from their sight.
From now on, Jesus is the one made known “in the breaking
of the bread.” The Gospel of Luke has already made Jesus
known in this way. He is the one made known when the hungry
are filled, as they were when he blessed and broke bread in
feeding the five thousand. (Read Luke 9:10-17.) He is the one
made known in the table fellowship of the church, when we
remember his giving thanks and breaking bread at the Lord’s
Supper. (See Luke 22:19.) He is the one made known in the
breaking of his body, offered for us—in the very death that had
brought about the disciples’ disappointment.
When the disciples describe Jesus as the one made known
in the breaking of the bread, the disciples aren’t merely reporting
their experience on the road to Emmaus; they’re summarizing
their experience of Jesus as a whole. Jesus constantly ate
and taught us how we ought to eat—especially in the Gospel of
Luke. The key lesson is this: Eat with the poor and the outcast.
Use one of the fundamental realities of life—our need for physical
sustenance—and watch it be transformed into a site of the
in-breaking kingdom of God. Every time we break bread; every
time we share fellowship across dividing lines of race, class, and
culture; every time we welcome the poor to the table, every time
we extend forgiveness, Jesus is made known.
This is especially good news for those of us who need to
learn to recognize Jesus without the benefit of seeing him. Jesus
is made known to us in the impossible communities made possible
at his table. May our eyes be opened to see and our tables
be open to receive.
Jesus, help me recognize your presence in my life today. Amen.
What is the Easter message, and what are we to do with it? Two dimensions of the responses to God’s act of raising Jesus stand out. First, repeatedly the texts speak of public worship. Second, the texts speak of changed lives. In 1 Peter 1 the Resurrection effects a new birth marked by obedience to the truth and mutual love. The two responses—public worship and transformed lives—are not separate from each other in the texts. One leads to the other and back again.
• Read Acts 2:14a, 36-41. What of Peter’s words that follow speak to the heart of the good news: “God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified”?
• Read Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19. The psalmist declares that he will pay his vows to the Lord “in the presence of all [God’s] people.” As the author notes, what story will you tell about God’s work in your life?
• Read 1 Peter 1:17-23. When have you witnessed God’s guid- ing hand at work in your life, not only in pleasant times but also in disappointment and darkness?
• Read Luke 24:13-35. When have you participated in a Bible study that offered such illuminating results? When have you experienced the inbreaking of God’s life at the table of Jesus Christ?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.