When is the last time your day was interrupted by impossibly good news? Most of us suffer interruptions all the time. We plan our day, set to our tasks, and the interruptions come along one after another. Yet some interruptions are a good thing: Luke 24 reminds us that when we least expect it, Jesus himself would like to break into our schedules and priorities.
Two guys, despondent over the death of Jesus, make the long walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They are leaving the big city and their dreams of something better. They dared to place their hope in someone else, and those hopes have been crushed. I think they were returning to the routine and the mundane, convinced that they should never let their hearts get carried away again.
The text tells us that Jesus approaches them as they walk down Despair Way. They don’t recognize him, though—perhaps because when we are caught up in our disappointment nothing looks right. Now the three of them continue walking, but as Jesus begins to interact with them, they find their hearts lit up with new possibilities and hope renewed. Finally, as they reach their destination, they make an important decision. Despite their own sadness and disappointment they invite the Stranger to share a meal. They welcome the interruption.
You know the rest: Jesus reveals himself. They are amazed. They recognize the old burning in their hearts, and they head back to Jerusalem to deliver impossible, ridiculously good news. They had walked down Despair Way, but now they raced up Burning Heart Road.
This burning heart is only possible by walking with Jesus—or rather, by inviting him to walk with you. Jesus was content to join them as they went their own way. Yet when they finally recognized him it totally changed their destination! Of course, here’s the catch: they didn’t know it was him. They had to welcome the interruption. They had to look past their disappointment and open themselves up to something beyond themselves.
How will Jesus interrupt your day? You won’t know it until after you welcome the interruption.