The “Road to Emmaus” story is found only in Luke 24 and it, perhaps more than any other story, depicts the dejection of the Lord’s disciples. The disciples’ faces are “downcast.” “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” they said. But even his body is now missing from the tomb.
First the hope is destroyed.
Now even the body of the hope giver is gone.
There is nothing left.
It was not until they gathered at the table with Jesus and he broke the bread with them that they recognized him.
I imagine Luke is affirming yet once again the difficulty of faith among even believers as well as affirming the importance of Scripture in reaffirming faith.
But there’s something else: the importance of gathering at table with Jesus. When we meet for worship and communion, it is an affirmation of what we believe. It is a reminder of what Jesus did. It is an encouragement that we are not in this alone. We have one another, and we have the presence of the Lord. No wonder that the first sign of spiritual failure is a flagging zeal to meet in worship, and the sure sign of the loss of faith altogether is giving up meeting with the saints.
The road to Emmaus is a difficult one, but one we all travel. Through the struggles of life and all the questions, we are journeying toward greater faith; our Emmaus.
Unless we get on another road.
It won’t matter which other road it is. It’s not leading us anywhere we want to go.