"After he took his seat at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight." Luke 24:30-31 CEB
Since we are still in the season of Eastertide, I think another Easter story is worth a few moments of our consideration. While I mentioned on Easter Day that Matthew is my favorite telling of the Easter narrative for all the rich details that are given, I must admit that the book of Matthew ends quickly after Jesus is resurrected.
The book of Luke gives us more stories of what happened after the resurrection. On the same day Jesus is resurrected we hear about an odd story of two men, minor characters in general, who sadly walk to their home feeling defeated by Jesus’ crucifixion on Friday. To read the full story you will find it in Luke 24:13-35. The first thing that jumps out at me is that the men are walking along when a stranger joins them. It turns out to be Jesus, but they do not recognize him. There is a lot of speculation about why they do not recognize him, but I don’t struggle with this detail.
When life is going sideways, I often do not see Jesus amid life. I see all the trouble and not much else. Eventually the men recognize Jesus when he serves them the bread and the wine. He does it as only Jesus does it, as an extraordinary act of love. Then their eyes are open, and they see Jesus in their midst.
That is also when I usually finally see Jesus in the middle of my struggles. When I see Grace at work, I see something unexpected and clearly a loving gift from God. Then I remember Jesus is with me, he was always there. I was never alone. I just felt alone, but I was wrong. Jesus is always by my side no matter how hard the day is or how disappointed I am by circumstances.
I understand those two men and their disillusionment. I understand feeling overwhelmed by life. I am deeply grateful when Jesus catches my attention and reminds me to stop worrying. To stop being afraid. He is there. He always was, and he will always be there.