From the Dean’s Desk… A Stranger is invited to a Dinner at Emmaus

Emmaus Road-daniel-bonnell

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him…  (Luke 24:28-31)

The stranger Jesus on the road to Emmaus becomes the honoured guest at Emmaus who becomes the host in the breaking of the bread.  One of the most beautiful ‘commentaries’ I have read on this text comes from the Anglican cleric George Herbert, seventeenth century priest, pastor, poet and mystic, who wrote these words, familiar to many, no doubt, but always worth reading again.

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
                              Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
                             From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
                             If I lack’d any thing.
A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
                             Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
                             I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
                             Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
                             Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
                             My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
                             So I did sit and eat.


What else can be said?  Thanks be to God!