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This year’s magazine theme is a little different than previous years’ themes. We asked people to write about the Emmaus Road because we felt like it was a perfect fit; these last few years have been hard, momentous, and traumatic for so many people, not unlike the disciples on the road. I hope the stories can be an encouragement to you that Jesus is with you, even if you don’t recognize it yet.
On the cover:
My depiction of the Emmaus Road is an exaggeration and far too binary because the artwork switches quickly from negative words to positive ones. Life isn’t like that but nuance is hard to achieve in hand-lettering because the art form is literal. A single moment of encounter with Jesus often doesn’t magically fix our lives with fairy-tale endings.
A journey like the disciples had on the Emmaus Road is a well-worn pathway for me. I often find myself asking, “Jesus, don’t you know what happened?”
Somehow, in those places of anxiety, Jesus does eventually seem to appear. Maybe I haven’t recognized that he’s been there for a while—or maybe he’s there with a friend bringing over Chipotle with extra guac.
In dark times, it often isn’t the perfectly exegeted sermon or theological concept that comforts or changes me. I’m changed in walking with friends, as we suffer on the same road. I’m comforted in walking with the gracious presence of Jesus. In those moments, around a table…something in that persistent presence changes me and I can hope again.
There are still many things that are unresolved and full of anxiety for all of us. It sounds trite and insufficient, but sometimes the only thing that gets me through is knowing that even the Resurrected Jesus suffers alongside us while offering an ear and a meal.
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