There’s no knowing in advance what will happen on any journey. In our Gospel reading from Luke for this Sunday, we hear a story about two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They were bereaved and bereft at the death of their friend Jesus. On the journey to Emmaus, from Jerusalem, they met a stranger.
That stranger turned out to be the risen Jesus, but they failed to recognise him. The disciples opened up to
the stranger and the stranger listened and encouraged them to talk. The disciples shared their upset and disillusionment at the loss of their friend, their Lord, and in doing so perhaps began to gain a clearer perspective.
The disciples offered the stranger hospitality and the chance to stay with them. As they sat to share a meal the stranger took the bread, blessed it and broke it. Only at that moment did the disciples recognise their friend and Saviour. When the disciples set off for Emmaus, little did they know that their journey would take them from disbelief to faith.
In the last 5 weeks of lockdown we have all journeyed together through times of confusion, heartache and disbelief. But amidst the difficulties, I wonder how many strangers have crossed your path, often emerging from the shadows to give you hope and increase your faith in humankind. We give thanks for all those who are our ‘local heroes’, bringing hope and help in our darkest times. Strangers in health care, supermarket and so many other uniforms who are now our greatest support and strength.
There’s no knowing in advance what will happen on any journey, but what we do know is that God is with us always. When you next encounter a ‘stranger’, remember that they could be ‘angels unawares’.
May God bless you all as we continue this particular journey together...