This past weekend I had the privilege to walk a faith journey with a group of women from across the region who were all looking to strengthen their relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We met Thursday evening in Wilmore, KY and proceeded to delve deep into an intensive weekend of prayer, study, sharing and fellowship with one another.
Two disciples encounter the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus. At first they do not recognize him, but he reveals himself in the breaking of bread. We, as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), encounter the risen Christ weekly in our celebration of the Communion Meal. Often, though, we do not recognize him when we meet. A Walk to Emmaus experience reminds us that we can and do encounter Christ in our daily lives but we often are so distracted by the world around us we fail to recognize him.
As per the Upper Room website, "The walk to Emmaus is an experience of Christian spiritual renewal and formation that begins with a three-day short course in Christianity. It is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ in a new way as God’s grace and love is revealed to you through other believers."
Some of you may be asking yourselves why someone: who has answered a call to ordained ministry, completed a degree program from seminary, and actively serves a church might need a 3-day short course in Christianity. This was the same question I asked myself. My reasons for attending this event were more for the focus of spiritual renewal than the course in Christianity, but I have to admit I benefited greatly from both aspects of the retreat weekend, plus so much more that I may never fully articulate. It is an experience someone just has to have for themselves to completely fathom the event experience.
The weekend was full of wonderful surprises, stories of love and grace and really good theology shared by those who have walked this walk before and now support others who choose to embrace the Emmaus experience. The Emmaus community also holds walks for adult men and for male and female youth aged 15 to year 2 of college. My prayer for God's people would be that everyone, at one time in their lives, have the Emmaus experience for themselves. Encounter the risen Christ in your daily lives and deepen your faith so you might recognize him when he shows himself to you through those you encounter at home, at work, at school and, yes, even at church.