"He acted as if he wanted to go farther…" - Luke 24:13-29
What a revealing line: Jesus was fishing for an invitation! Here he is risen from the dead, enjoying his new life, yet he’s still hanging around his slow-witted friends, unable to shake off his desire—his need?—to be near them. So he acts as if he intends another journey to some other destination. But he’s really hoping they’ll notice and say, "Wait, don't go! Stay with us!" You can almost see his heart leap out of his chest when they do.
After he goes in with them and breaks the bread, they know him. They also recall that their hearts were burning as he explained scripture to them on the road. But long before their hearts burned, Jesus' heart was on fire—on fire with friendship renewed. Glad beyond words to be back beside us on the road. Glad to be sitting down with us again as evening falls and the lights come on. So very glad to taste again the special flavor bread has when shared with those you love.
Jesus is always angling for an invitation. Ask him in, he'll come. Even to the likes of us. He’s easy to please. It takes so little to make him glad. We, on the other hand are more wary of strangers, far less inclined to press one to stay, to sit with us, to dine. What joy might we be missing? What burning heart? And what delicious bread?
So many travelers on the roads of the world, O God! When night falls, they press on alone. Teach us to say, "Stay with us! Stay and share the meal, the joy, the great good news, the blazing heart."
Mary Luti is Interim Senior Pastor, Wellesley Village Church, Wellesley, Massachusetts.