The story of the two disciples on their way to Emmaus who meet the resurrected Jesus is a familiar story to us all, maybe too familiar. I found this drawing of Rembrandt's and it touch me in a way some finished painting cannot do. If you look closely you will see it is not a complete drawing, you have the basic outlines some detail is included but most of the fine detail is missing. In a way that is what the scriptural story is for me, the fine details are left out. For instance Rembrandt portrays a young and an older disciple with Jesus but I don’t remember ages being given. For some reason I always pictured the road they were walking on as being isolated but in the background here you see other travelers, is that possible. Jesus is in deep conversation with the two and I often wondered why these two, were they the only of his disciples not afraid to go out? I could go on forever but then you wouldn’t have a chance to meditate on this drawing.
So today, I offer this drawing to practice Visio Divina with. Gaze at the picture and as you focus on the images place yourself in the role of one of the disciples. Ask yourself the following questions:
- The other disciples are afraid of leaving the upper room but you have chosen to travel. If you had been one of these disciples what would you have thought of this stranger interposing himself on you and your companion? Would you have been afraid?
- In what ways does this the teaching of the stranger peak your curiosity.
- What is it about the stranger that draws you to him? Does he somehow feel familiar?
- Given that some of the women in your group have come back from the tomb telling everyone that Jesus was alive, can you entertain the possibility that you talking to your risen Lord even if you are afraid to say so out loud.
May Christ meet you on the road and offer you comfort.
Ruth Jewell, ©April 29, 2014