On this Bright Wednesday, we celebrate for He is Risen!
Our Reading is The Road to Emmaus / Luke 24:13-35
“He is Risen” is the word that the women gave, based on the evidence of the tomb and the message from the bright angel who reassured them.
Yet the disciples could not bring themselves to believe. They wanted to, desperately, but their earthly realism prevent complete belief.
So, three days after the Crucifixion, on the day of the Resurrection, two of the Jesus’ followers are walking on the road to Emmaus. One of them is Cleopas. The historian Hegesippus recorded that Cleopas was the son of the brother of Joseph; therefore, he was a cousin of Jesus.
The two men are talking about the events, especially the words of the women just that morning. And a stranger greets them.
They recount the troubling events, especially the greatest troubling event of the body missing from the tomb but the angel no longer there. And they admit they are amazed.
A Bright Amazement
We have forgotten the true meaning of “amaze”: to fill with astonishment, to stagger, to stupefy, to awe. To be amazed is to be confused by mystery.
They explain the whole amazing events to the stranger as they walk the road to Emmaus together.
But they do not really see the stranger. Just as they never really heard His message. Not until he rebukes them:
“And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart — to believe all that the prophets have spoken!26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24)
Once again, Christ had to teach them. Now, perhaps, they listen with better understanding. Now, perhaps, they can heed His words.
Yet Christ does not reveal Himself to them. They do not “see” who HE is until he joins them for supper, breaks the bread and blesses it and gives it to them. Only then, hearts burning within them, they recognize Him.
And He instantly vanishes.
A Bright Understanding
In life, how often do we not see what is before our faces? How often do we not understand until a flash of understanding reveals all?
How often do we never receive that flash of understanding? How often is that the tragedy? That the information is before us, but we lack the spirit to see and comprehend?
As with these two disciples, so it often is with us. We see the constant daily miracles of God, but we do not “see” them, we do not accept them, we do not understand them.
Perhaps our prayers should be for more understanding, more discernment. The gifts we ask for should be the witness of His miracles. We should pray that we heed the lessons we hear and have heard over and over again.
A Prayer for Brightness
Many years ago, in my search for More about my faith in Christ Jesus, I stumbled upon this. In whatever document I found it in, this little prayer was called “The Sarum Prayer.” I copied it into a journal.
Over the years, I have continued to move it forward in my journals. I re-encounter it at unexpected intervals. Every time it speaks to me, reminding me of lessons I still need to heed.
It’s comforting, but also a little sad, to realize that every individual in every generation has to learn the same lessons about Christ and our walk with Him. Yet generation after generation, century after century, we find strange connections, present to ancient past, from now to the person who first penned this little prayer.
The Sarum Prayer
(From the 1527 Sarum Primer )
God be in my head / And in my understanding.
God be in mine eyes / And in my looking.
God be in my mouth / And in my speaking.
God be in my heart / And in my thinking.
God be at my beginning / And in my departing.