Luke 24:13-35 (NRSV)
Verse 13Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, Verse 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. Verse 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, Verse 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. Verse 17And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. Verse 18Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" Verse 19He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, Verse 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. Verse 21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Verse 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, Verse 23and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Verse 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him." Verse 25Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Verse 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Verse 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. Verse 28As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. Verse 29But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them. Verse 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Verse 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. Verse 32They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" Verse 33That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. Verse 34They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" Verse 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
The loss of those we love due to Covid has been incredibly difficult to endure, but the isolation from community has for many been just as devastating. In many ways, many of us are walking down a road in a daze at all that has occurred and wondering how we can ever be restored. Online worship services allowed us to meet virtually, but it is now when we are beginning to meet in person and receive communion in our hands do we begin to realize the Lord was always with us and is with us still. Being together in community and listening to scripture and holding the body of Christ in your hand is unlike any experience we can duplicate online. We are invited to the Lord’s table to break bread together and rejoice in our shared community.
Loving God, we have endured a time of separation from community, but we take comfort that you have walked with us through the darkness. We pray we can come together and be renewed in knowing you through our shared breaking of bread. Amen.