An Emmaen prayer

by Ken Sehested

“He was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.”
—Luke 24:35, story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus following Jesus’ execution


Holy One of Heaven, maker of days and baker of bread that nourishes and brings delight, be with us in our famished disillusion.

Like the ancient disciples on the road to Emmaus, we, too, have broken dreams and manifest disappointments. The life we envisioned has collapsed; the hopes that buoyed have sunk; the promises made have unraveled.  And we walk the road of disappointment and regret.

Right: "Road to Emmaus," linocut art by Julie Lonneman

We confess that we fill ourselves with fretful, empty calories. We choke on the food of anxious toil. We spend ourselves in fruitless pursuits.

Be present among us again in the breaking of resurrecting bread. Restore to us the vision that recognizes your will and your Way. Feed us ‘til we want no more, ‘til our hearts grow stilled, ‘til our minds become set on the things that make for peace, on the harvest of justice, on the storehouse of grace, on the banquet table of mercy.

Coax us back to Jerusalem’s turmoil, where Heaven contends with Earth’s remorse, where the promise of forgiveness confronts the knots of enmity, where danger’s threat is met with the Spirit’s assurance that one day public good shall supplant private privilege, when the tyranny of might over right will end, when all tears will be dried and death itself comes undone.


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