Set the scene: Two disciples of Jesus, not two of the twelve, but of the second band of followers, are on the road to a place called Emmaus. A SCATTERING OF DISCIPLES AND A REGATHERING BY THE GOOD SHEPHERD. Luke says Emmaus was seven miles from Jerusalem. Archaeologists have never uncovered a town seven miles from Jerusalem. They trudge along, sandals kicking up the dust and despair, shoulders slumped, their eyes bearing the telltale signs of grief. This is the ROAD TO NOWHERE.
Some of us are on that road this morning. We are busy people and we live important, cluttered, tension-filled lives. The Emmaus Road is where we stop connecting the dots, no longer work at improving our spiritual practices, and put our faith on hold. Once on this road we are smothered by complacency or murdered by despair. If you have never been on this road before, let me tell you that people refuse the truth of resurrection out here, preferring the old crippling identities, the old quarrels and silly resistances, and the old patterns of war, hate, and greed (Walter Brueggemann).
The Emmaus Road leads away from the church/resurrection. Emmaus stands for our culture and its energy-consuming, time-eating, death-dealing realities. The Emmaus Road is where people go to throw in the towel. Two of our people – two disciples of Jesus – are on the road to Emmaus. THE ROAD TO NOWHERE. NO ENTRY.