Each Easter Sunday we tell the story of two people walking with Jesus. At the end of the day walking to Emmaus they meet Jesus and have no idea it is the Risen Lord. In the story, set over a period of hours, their realisation about the true nature of their companion in their journey is relatively fleeting. “Their eyes were opened, they recognised him, and he vanished from their sight.” (Luke 24:31).
The two followers of Jesus did not realise who they were walking with. On reflection, they understood the change that they were experiencing in their walk. (24:32). Deeply motivated by their experience they run back to Jerusalem and share the news of their discovery.
The dramatic circumstances of these first few months of 2020 will stay with us. What was certain is no longer so. An invisible virus is changing our realities. It is easy to be captivated by fear and unease, and to lose sight of one of the greatest truths of our faith. Jesus is with us. The chorus of the Easter hymn sums it up “Jesus walks with us, talks with us along life’s narrow way.” The promise of the love, grace and presence of Jesus is for us all.
It is the reality of this experience that becomes foundational in our desire to tell and share the Easter news. We run with a message. A message that crosses geographic and human boundaries. It results in people discovering afresh the goodness and grace of Jesus. This sees churches planted, more lives transformed and more churches commence – and on it goes.
This year Easter in Australia is going to be different. We won’t be gathering in worship as anticipated. Regardless of these changed circumstances Jesus is walking with us. It is our walk of hope. As we reach out and give we open doors for more people to discover this reality for themselves. Jesus is risen.