Emmaus Walk

It was the Sunday after Easter and we had been reminded in our Bible reading of the walk to Emmaus and of how the travellers’ sadness had been transformed into hope and wonder as they realised that Jesus was alive and had been walking with them.

On the Sunday evening a group of about a dozen met to make our own Emmaus walk. Led by the Revd Jane we began at church with a prayer and then we tried to imagine the emotions of those who walked so long ago. We, as we walked with a partner along Highgate Avenue were asked to catch up on what had happened in the last week and where we were with God.

We made our way into Highgate Wood and paused by the bridge over the little brook to cast our minds back to the raw grief of losing a friend, and of Jesus’ horrendous death. We read the psalm, As the deer longs for the stream of cool water so I long for you O God (Psalm 42).

In silence we walked along the valley thinking as we walked of all that Jesus had done in His lifetime, of all the miracles and good things, of all those healed. Wonderful memories and we gave thanks.

At the Preston College Arena – such a reminder of a typical Roman scene – we paused to pray for others in our locality and in the wider world. We lit our lantern, a sign of Jesus, the Light of the World and prayed that His message would touch the hearts of us all so that we could work together for the common good.

As we retraced our steps we appreciated the spring beauty, the fresh green, the blossom beginning and the wonderful birdsong all around. We remembered the Emmaus story as we carried a cross to a picnic table and prepared it with a cloth and the elements for our Communion supper.

As we gathered around in the amazing stillness, so near to busy roads but here a scene of peace, the birds sang as we celebrated Communion, sharing the bread and wine together and daring to believe that Jesus was with us too in the bread and wine. It was such a beautiful moment, moving in its simplicity.

We walked back to Church giving thanks, remembering how those long ago travellers were so invigorated that despite all the dangers of night travel, they walked back to Jerusalem to share the good news, a challenge for us to be more adventurous in sharing our faith.

Back at Church we met for final prayers and a blessing, (on next page). It was such a special experience that I wanted to share it with you. I hope that we might do it again and that you might join us.

Mavis Fletcher

The blessing

  May the blessing of God surround us

May angels and friends share our journey

May we be safeguarded, loved and cherished

May we walk on holy ground

May people of faith inspire us

May wisdom and justice empower us

May we be wise and strong and creative

May we celebrate life and hope

May God’s image grow within us

May laughter and courage heal us

May the Gospel of life sustain us

All the days of our journey home.