The road to Emmaus is this world.

Franz Wright

Opening Psalm: Psalm 116:1-4 [5-11], 12-19

I love the Lord, 
because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me, 
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; 
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord: 
“O Lord, I pray, save my life!”
[Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; 
our God is merciful.
The Lord protects the simple; 
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest, 
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death, 
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”;
I said in my consternation, “Everyone is a liar.”]
What shall I return to the Lord 
for all his bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation 
and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord 
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord 
is the death of his faithful ones.
O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, 
the child of your serving girl. 
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice 
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord 
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord, 
in your midst, O Jerusalem. 
Praise the Lord!

Scripture Reading: Luke 24:32

They 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?”

Silence for reflection and prayer. 

Devotional Poem: “The Road to Emmaus” by J. Michael Sparough

Our eyes falling down to the ground,
Our hearts dry as the dust we trample.
A stranger joins our journey to despair.

Teasing out the details of what our hope had been,
He listens on and on until our grief can say no more,
Only then can his words water our withered spirits.

Gently chiding, strongly guiding, weaving a story
Of glory hidden within fabled prophecies of faith.
Later will we recall how fiercely our hearts did burn.

But now it is our turn, the time to beg him to linger,
A request he can never refuse, for his very presence
Is sacred space, every home he visits his sanctuary.

For those who have eyes to see, his bread blessed,
Broken and shared - so much more than merely a meal.
His visitation no longer confined to history.

This road we walked with him still beckons --
To journey back from where we once despaired,
Our eyes now open in hopeful recognition.

Closing Prayer

O Lord, we walk our roads to Emmaus as we travel through this life, unaware that you walk these roads with us. You listen, patiently, as we pour out our hearts. And you turn us to your Word to rekindle our hope. O Lord, set our hearts on fire again. Open our eyes again. Loose our bonds and we will call on you. Open our lips and we will proclaim your praise. Help us to run with joy the race set before us, to share our hope with all whom we encounter, and to always be aware that you travel with us, wherever this life takes us. Amen

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