Emmaus Amazement


A couple of decades ago, I made my first trip to Africa, to visit my cousin who was teaching in Kenya. I would be there over the Easter weekend. I have such fond memories of flying kites on Easter–a sure sign of resurrection as they danced in the wind atop of the hill. What I did not ever figure out until tonight as I walked from my car to my church was the crazy sermon that was preached that Sunday morning. We were in a small village east of Nairobi, the only two white folks in the crammed church and the rather evangelical pastor was preaching on how evil spirits prowl around, seeking ways to get into a good man’s house. He was miming out the event, trying to get in through invisible windows, wildly pacing at the front of the church. Stepping over imaginary objects, he created a huge visual drama about how Evil does not give up. I sat there puzzled wanting to hear the old familiar stories of Easter.

Tonight though, my mind was on those two disciples who were walking those eleven kilometres to Emmaus from Jerusalem. I noticed how Evil was already harassing these two followers in their despair though their house was fairly secure. Jesus begins to explain it all to them, and in the breaking of the bread, their eyes are open. Love breaks through their sorrow and their spiritual homes are once again protected.

In my many years of doing bereavement ministry, I know that grief can turn people away from God. The followers of Christ did not know what was coming. We see that in the Gospel reading from the morning with Mary and the men running to and from the tomb. A frenzied panic comes over all of them until Jesus grounds Mary by calling her by her name. We will see it with Thomas who hides away from the others, and into whose heart crept doubt. Grief can be a negative turning point for people. Instead of turning towards God, they turn away.

A friend of mine reminded me tonight that Christ, in his dying breath, gave his dear mother to his beloved friend and vice versa. They did not have to bear the weight of their sorrow alone. Together they could build a solid house, protected against the Evil that tries to shatter faith at moments like this.

Our hearts can burn within us if we too discover that Christ gives us one another for the most challenging of times. Christ is risen and hope lives! Secure your doors and windows with the Word who dwelt amongst us.

May the joy and hope of the Risen Christ be yours today and always.



About sstyves

A Canadian prairie girl rooted in Ignatian spirituality, I seek God in all things. Whether I catch a glimpse of the Divine and delight in its presence in nature or in the beauty of an encounter with someone, I am ever so grateful that I can recognize the Creator. I greet each new day with hope and happiness, expecting blessings and miracles because I am created to praise, love and serve God. This blog is one way of realizing that through my writings, prayers, and photography. To God be the Glory!
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2 Responses to Emmaus Amazement

  1. Karen Wheadon says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    I enjoyed your Easter message Suzanne. It carried more meaning for me than the service I went to. I decided to go to the all denominational Christian service held each week in the Patio Colonial Square where I go to yoga twice a week. I as well hoped to hear an old familiar Easter story on Easter Sunday, told in a somewhat reserved manner. It was indeed a very evangelical service and group of people. Growing up attending church in a very reserved United Church environment, it was somewhat overpowering for me and I heard no Easter message. Randy would have enjoyed the band, kind of Christian rock and loud:) anyway, I took that in then caught the end of the Catholic service in espanol on the way home, never understood much but felt more of a quiet presence. Also enjoyed the 10 commandments movie on tv that Nite, awhile since I saw it. Powerful message in that story for sure.

    I know you had a nice Easter and Holy Week with much gratitude and counting your blessings, not your Easter eggs. The Easter crowds have all left here now as of Sunday and the beach and town more quiet again. It’s nice. I continue to go to land yoga and water yoga/ Arobics out of town when one of the ladies offers me a ride. Randy is laying low from much exercise on foot as he injured his foot about 3 weeks ago, diagnosed by Internet:) as we think a stress fracture. Unfortunately. It seems to get better then reoccurs back to square one again with lots of pain. He will likely need to get MRI when back in NL. So, he’s using the pool more and very are so grateful to have that pool here as its hot.

    I met a very nice lady Maggie from Scotland whom I’ve come to know a little. They have built a house here and live here 6 months, returning to Scotland tomorrow, missing her grandchildren:) she has been kind and invited me to water yoga giving me a ride. Also to play Dominos on Wed afternoons at beach restaurant in Samara. So I will continue to partake in that until I leave.

    Just touching base sharing a little news. Thinking of you and hope you are doing well.

    Love, Karen

    Sent from my iPad


    • sstyves says:

      Your experiences sound so lovely for the most part, though I am sorry to hear R is injured. Hope he gets better soon. You have met some good folks which is awesome. Live it all well. I am sure you are. xo.

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