Come, Lord Jesus, and speak to our hearts. Amen.
Text: Luke 24:13–35
Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
You never walk alone, dear Christians, but always in the grandest company. No doubt you have met many noble people, and you have had good conversations on the way. But He who is greater than all was always there with you. Where two or three believers speak together about the Lord, He is always near, and their hearts surely receive a blessing. But you have also often walked alone with Him, in the morning when the sun rose, and at evening in darkness and gloom. He spoke to your heart in the Scriptures and you were able to speak with Him in return. He removed your doubt and turned your lament into praise. But sometimes you also forgot Him. He still went with you and never forgot you. Often He disappeared from your view, but still He was near, and He always revealed Himself again within the assembly of the brethren by the Word and Sacrament, or in private by the Word and prayer.
If you have a spouse who loves the Lord, or you live with other friends in God, then do not let Satan prevent you from talking about what happened in Jerusalem at Easter. Let Him who is the fulfillment of the Scriptures and who transfigures Himself for our spirit in the same Holy Scriptures, be the subject of your conversation, that is: Always look for light and counsel in God’s Word for all your soul’s concerns, and He shall surely speak with you and lead you into all truth. You shall see ever more clearly that Christ is the Sun of Righteousness. According to God’s eternal plan of love, according to the multitude of fainter and brighter beams, which shone over the earth already in Old Testament times, He had to arise in this very way – in Him righteousness and mercy kiss one another, and for this reason He had to suffer and die. As God’s eternal nature and will are, so is His eternal decree. As it was decreed, so it was written, and as it is written, so it had to happen, and so it did happen. And your heart still, at least sometimes, shall burn within you.
But if you walk alone, then remember that you are not alone when you have Scripture and believe it. Open your eyes, and see! Truly, the Living One is with you. Don’t you see Him? Don’t you believe that He is near you and that He sees and hears you? Walk with Him, talk with Him, pray to Him: “Abide with me, Lord! Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” He was with the two in Emmaus and walked unseen, following them back to Jerusalem at evening. He will do the same with us. Through the world’s darkness we go to the brethren in Jerusalem, with the One Unseen following us – there we shall see Him as He is.
We thank You, precious Savior, for such grace – and we pray You: Explain the Scriptures to us, so that our hearts may burn within us. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer now hear,
Thy pilgrim who now hurries
Through all this world’s fast-fleeting years
Filled with a thousand worries!
In Thee my heart true rest doth find,
Me comfort daily granting;
O let Thy Spirit dwell with mine,
Thy mercy in me panting.
The path I gladly walk with Thee,
O gentle, risen Savior!
To heaven I would go with Thee,
Thy footsteps follow ever.
Walk with me, lest I fall away,
O draw me always near Thee;
Make me to walk on heaven’s way
In sorrow ever cheer me.
And when my evening hour is near
In youth or age soon chasing;
Abide with me and hold me dear
When I my death am facing.
Lord Jesus, grant me then to dwell
With Thee and with Thy Father;
And may my journey go so well,
Till round Thee we may gather.
Kingo: Hvor lifligt er det dog at gaa L 357:8-13 tr. DeGarmeaux;
tune: Jeg ved et evigt Himmerig (LHy 523); alternate hymn: Abide with me ELH 561:1-2 or Abide with us, the day is waning ELH 563