The Walk to Emmaus
The “Walk to Emmaus” is a spiritual renewal program intended to bolster each participant’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to strengthen the local church by helping to develop Christian disciples and leaders. The Walk to Emmaus program focuses on emphasizing Christ's model of servanthood and encourages Christ's disciples to act in ways appropriate to being "a servant of all". Emmaus Walks are sponsored by the Upper Room of the United Methodist Church and are open to members of all denominations that worship Jesus Christ. Emmaus Walks in this area are held at Camp Summatanga. Men and women attend walks on separate weekends.
The start of an individual’s Walk to Emmaus begins with a Thursday evening through Sunday evening short course in Christianity, comprised of brief seminars delivered by lay and clergy on the themes of God's grace, disciplines of Christian discipleship, and what it means to be the church. The course is based on prayer and meditation seeking guidance by the Holy Spirit, an emphasis on worshipping through music, and daily celebration of Holy Communion. The "Emmaus community," made up of those who have attended an Emmaus weekend, support the experience with a prayer vigil, by preparing and serving meals, and other acts of love and self-giving. After the Walk to Emmaus weekend experience, every day is known as the "Fourth Day", in which the participants continue to grow in their relationship with God on a day by day basis.
After the three day event, Emmaus leaders encourage participants to meet regularly in small “reunion” groups. The members of the reunion support each another in faithful living and adherence to the values learned during the 72 hour “Walk Weekend”. Cahaba Heights UMC has an active men’s Emmaus reunion group that also serves as a men’s prayer group.
For more information on the Walk to Emmaus, see Pastor Rusty Glasgow, or see Richard Barrow, Carroll Gardner, or Danny Taylor.
The Emmaus Story
from Luke 24:13-35 (NRSV)
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all the things that had happened.
While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?"
They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place in these days?"
He asked them, "What things?"
They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, the came back and told us that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.
Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
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, and he vanished from their sight.
They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us, while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together.
They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
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