On the Road to Emmaus

by Robert Zund 1877

The Gospel of Luke relates the story of Christ joining two friends on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus, walking together and sharing their heart’s deepest concerns. The risen Christ walks with them and explains the scriptures: how it was ordained that Christ should suffer and so enter his glory. The illuminating climax of this heart warming experience comes when Christ takes bread and blesses it, he then breaks it and gives it to them. At that moment, the eyes of the two are opened, they recognize him as the risen Christ, and they rush back to Jerusalem to tell the others.

This story from Luke 24:13-35 provides the image for the Walk to Emmaus, an Upper Room program that calls forth and restores Christian discipleship. The 72-hour Emmaus weekend has been described as a short course in Christianity. It enlivens people to the reality of Christ’s love and presence in a way that leads the individual to greater action in witness for Christ. It is designed to make Christ known in the world and equip the participants with the tools and resources they need to keep the freshness and enthusiasm received on the weekend.

What is the purpose? Emmaus exists to develop Christian leaders for the local church and the world. The approach seriously considers the model of Christ’s servanthood and encourages Christ’s disciples to act in ways appropriate to being “a servant of all.”

Where does it take place? A community of Christians from a variety of churches provides a place, leadership, and all the support necessary to conduct the Walk to Emmaus weekend.

How do I attend? A person who has experienced the Walk to Emmaus sponsors you. This frees you from any personal responsibilities that might distract you while on the experience, and undergirds your 72 hour experience with prayer and other expressions of God’s love.

What happens after? Cleopas and his companion immediately returned to tell other disciples about their encounter with Christ. A regular, on going time of sharing together our journey with Christ is part of the follow-up to the experience. Celebration occur throughout the year encourages discipleship. Weekly, small-group meetings are open to all persons wanting to grow in accountability for their relationship with Christ.