“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?” (Luke 24:32).

Art “Road to Emmaus” by Robyn San Anderson
Inspired by Josef Rheinberger’s Abendlied called “Road to Emmaus”.
Listen to the music that inspired this painting.

On Sunday morning, many of us heard the “Jesus Story” of the Walk to Emmaus, where the Crucified and Risen Jesus is revealed to two of His followers in the opening of the Scriptures and in the Breaking of the Bread. The Walk to Emmaus is a favorite Jesus Story for many.

I wonder if you have a favorite Jesus Story? If you do, could you share your Jesus Story “by heart”? Could you stop reading this email blast and just speak out loud your favorite Jesus story? Try it. How did you do?

Our culture is primarily a written culture. Think of the books we read, the online posts we skim, and the contracts we carefully scrutinize before signing.

The culture in which Jesus and His followers lived was an oral culture. These folks knew the Hebrew Scriptures by heart, and they could tell some splendid stories. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were great storytellers. And lest we forget… Jesus. Jesus could tell a great story, and while telling that story, Jesus could hold the crowd in wonder and in awe.

And that’s what great stories do. They cause us to wonder and keep us in awe. They challenge and they inspire. Stories have a way of moving our hearts, strengthening our souls, and transforming whole communities. Just 1 great story, and a small dash of people who believe the story, and live the story, can change the entire world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has. You and me, we get to tell. And we get to live the greatest story that has ever been told. The story of the Crucified and Risen Jesus.

So, go ahead, and try it again. Take a moment to speak out loud your favorite Jesus Story. How did you do? I believe that you were simply splendid, so splendid that you might go and share that Jesus Story with another. Give it a try, and let me know how it goes.