On the Way to Emmaus by Janet Brooks-Gerloff pictures a couple walking away from us, their faces hidden, Cleopas and an unnamed disciple who might be his wife Mary, or who might represent you or me. While it is called On the Way to Emmaus, they are actually walking in a pathless desert toward a horizon and an unknown future of intermingled sunshine and rain. Their bowed heads, stooped shoulders and dark clothing speak of sadness, grief and the loss of hope. Someone they loved dearly and believed in deeply was gone. The powers of evil had won. Perhaps there is also some doubt. Was what Jesus said about God’s love and mercy really true?
But this was Easter Sunday afternoon. And Jesus, mysteriously, barely discernible, walks along with them. He tells them of how the Christ, and sometimes his followers, must suffer in order to enter into his glory. And although they will realize this only in hindsight, their hearts are already burning. Hopefully, we can be able to acknowledge, accept and live with our earthly sorrows and also our Christian hope without denying either, and also share both of these with others for our mutual support and comfort.