• David Carlson

EMMAUS COMMUNITY RETREAT 2018


Lectio Divina - Video Divina

Two of my most cherished verses in all of scripture appear in tonight’s Gospel story... one so full of grief and loss... the other, so full of emotion, you can almost feel the heat!

In this Gospel, I can almost see the camera shots...capturing feet, walking that dusty road, hearing the dejected shuffle, feeling the heaviness of those steps, making audible what happens when loss gives way to hopelessness. The camera veers upward to catch those eyes, empty, silently staring outward, void of any end point...any goal, or even any real sense of direction.

Their mumbling conversation gives way to the greeting of a passing stranger’s question: “What are you discussing...what is it that seems so troubling to you?

Incredulity erupts, “Are you crazy? Where in the world have you been that you have missed what has griped our land for these many months...years? Have you not heard about Jesus, who he was, what he has done...for so many!”

Then comes that searing verse... “We had hoped he was the one!” (The one to save us from oppression...this imperialism; so that finally... liberation might really be ours!”)

If they thought their grief might enlist this stranger’s sympathy, oh, are they wrong! Almost berating them...the stranger leads them back through their own spiritual foundations to the shining words of their elders and prophets, both past and current, whose words now seem to shimmer with new meaning, depth and wisdom... as if these same words could sprout thick vines, connecting past events, with the tremendous tragedies of these recent days...as if forecasted, and absolutely anticipated.

So, engrossed are they...and captivated, that they invite the stranger to stay...”Don’t go yet... stay with us, eat with us, tell us more!” We can hear their excitement. The camera captures the table laid out with bread and wine; how the stranger blesses, breaks and shares each; now how the camera zooms in to see their eyes widening with that hint of recognition... “Where have we experienced this before? When have we felt this same excitement, this resonance, this depth of spirit? OH! ... Jesus!

At the very moment of identification...just as swiftly comes the slipping away

of it!

And then, comes that blazing second verse, “Were not our hearts burning within us?” All those memories, those moments of remembering, the connections, the associations... multitudes of experiences come tumbling out... and simultaneously searing the heart within!

This is lectio divina, where Sacred Presence can come alive in our midst.

This is how community grows the soul of each of us.

This is how we remind and hold up and support each other through grief and loss toward that hint of recognition, that God truly is in our midst.

This is how, we as a community of faith, strengthen and support one another for our work in the world, as individuals and as a community of faith...and justice.

This gospel is truly our story!


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