New Daylight reading Friday 23 October 2020
This reading is taken from Tony Horsfall's series of reflections on 'Home' in New Daylight September–December 2020.
Taking Jesus home
Luke 24:28–29 (NIV)
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going further. But they urged him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them.
The story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is one full of significance. We are unsure of their exact identity and relationship. Was this a married couple, the Mary and Clopas mentioned in yesterday’s reading? Or were they simply two friends joined together in their desire to follow Jesus as his disciples?
What is clear from Luke’s account is that they had been terribly disappointed by the events in Jerusalem and, following the death of Jesus, were returning broken-hearted to their home in Emmaus. At this point they have still not recognised that the stranger who had joined them on the road was the risen Jesus, but they have enjoyed his company and invite him to stay the night with them.
Two things stand out here. In making as if to continue his journey Jesus is not assuming anything. He does not want to force himself upon them, but prefers that they genuinely desire his company. It is a little test for them. Jesus will never force himself on anyone. Always he waits for us to invite him in. We must choose his friendship.
Secondly, disciples are those who gladly welcome Jesus into the sphere of their daily lives. It is actually through an ordinary and homely activity – breaking bread – that Jesus becomes known to them (vv. 30–32). A simple meal together becomes a sacramental moment and a means of spiritual revelation.
Home is where we are most relaxed, where we are most fully ourselves. What a joy to know that Jesus is willing to join us in the ordinariness of our daily lives, where we can enjoy his presence in every aspect of life at home.
Lord, thank you for your willingness to make your dwelling among us, even to the point of being present in our homes.
Written by Tony Horsfall