Our journey to Emmaus B.F. Westcott

In the history of the Journey to Emmaus we see how Christ draws near to us when humbly and honestly we ponder his word. The study is difficult – far more

difficult than we commonly suppose, and far more fruitful – but he illuminates the dark places, and through a better understanding of the letter guides us to a warmer sympathy with the spirit.

Christ draws near to us when we take gladly the reproof which reveals to us our ignorance and our coldness, and resolutely strive to retain in our company the Teacher who by sharp methods has made us better able to see the Truth.

Christ draws near to us when we are bidden to draw near to him at his Holy Table, and there gives us back with his blessing the offerings which we have brought to him.

An allegory of life

So Christ draws near to us, or at least he waits to draw near to us, in the manifold changes of our mortal life, near to us as we go in and go out in the fulfilment of our common duties, near to us when we are reassembled in our homes, near to us in the time of trial and in the hour of death.

The journey to Emmaus is indeed both in its apparent sadness and in its final joy an allegory of many a life. We traverse our appointed path with a sense of a void unfilled, of hopes unsatisfied, of promises withdrawn.

The words of encouragement which come to us, often from strange sources, are not sufficient to bring back the assurance which we have lost.

The Divine Presence

Yet happy are we if we open our griefs to him who indeed knows them better than ourselves, if we keep him by our side, if we constrain him to abide with us. Happy if at the end, when the day is far spent, and darkness is closing round, we are allowed to see for one moment the fulness of the Divine Presence which has been with us all along, half cloud and half light.

But happier, and thrice happy, if when our hearts first burn within us, while life is still fresh and the way is still open, as One speaks to us in silent whisperings of reproof and discipline, speaks to us in the ever-living record of the Bible, we recognize the source of the spiritual fire. This we may do – and so feel that there has dawned upon us from the Easter Day a splendour over which no night can fall.

From The Revelation of the Risen Lord by B. F. Westcott ND