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The Walk to Emmaus and Luke 24:13-35
The resurrection story told in Luke 24:13-35 (NIV) illustrates what happens for pilgrims on the Walk to Emmaus: faith is reexplained, grace is reexperienced, Christian community is realised, and the body of Christ is renewed through the renewed commitment of church members Christ's disciples.
Faith Is Re-explained
As the two disciples walked to Emmaus, Jesus joined them as a stranger and explained to them the meaning of the Scriptures concerning himself. Likewise, during the Walk to Emmaus our faith is reexplained through fifteen talks and discussions, addressing important aspects of God's grace and Christian discipleship.
Grace Is Re-experienced
Upon arrival in the village of Emmaus, the disciples recognised Jesus in the breaking of the bread and remembered how their hearts had burned within them as they walked with him on the road. Likewise, during the Emmaus Weekend grace is reexperienced through rich worship services, daily Holy Communion, the support of a caring Christian community, and other expressions of God's love.
Christian Community Is Realised
The disciples returned immediately to the little Christian community in Jerusalem to share their story and to hear their friends' stories of having seen the risen Christ. Likewise, on the Walk to Emmaus people live in Christian community for three days and have opportunities to share their lives in fun-filled moments as well as serious moments, small group discussions, common meals, singing, worship, and communion.
The Body of Christ Is Renewed
The disciples together became the body of Christ in the world, supporting one another over the long haul as they walked in the spirit of Jesus and shared the gospel of grace with those around them. Likewise, after the three-day Walk to Emmaus discipleship is sustained with a strong follow-up emphasis which we call the "Fourth Day." This emphasis involves participation in church and in small, weekly support groups for mutual encouragement, guidance, and accountability.
The Purpose of Emmaus
The purpose of Emmaus is the renewal of the Church as the body of the risen Christ in the world through the renewal of church members as faithful and committed disciples of Jesus Christ. Emmaus expands participants' spiritual lives, deepens their discipleship, and rekindles their gifts as Christian leaders in their churches and communities. These aims are accomplished not only during the three-day Emmaus Walk, but also through participation in group reunions and community Gatherings, sponsorship and support of Walks, and service on teams. Persons whose spiritual lives are renewed and strengthened through Emmaus are called to share the grace they receive in their community and to be leavening influences in their local churches. The purpose of Emmaus is not fully realised during the three days of the event itself, but, rather, in the Fourth Day.
HOW DO I ATTEND?
Attendance is open to all Christians in local churches who are recommended (or "sponsored") by someone who has already attended a Walk. Ministers, pastors and church leaders are especially invited to attend so that they may have confidence in recommending the program to other members of their fellowships. If you know someone who has attended Emmaus, ask your friend to tell you about his or her experience of the Walk to Emmaus. Your friend will help you decide whether you would find this experience helpful. Your friend will also help you find a sponsor for your Emmaus participation. If you don't know anyone who has been to Emmaus, use either this list of local communities or this map of Australia to locate an Emmaus community in your area. Search for an Emmaus community by name or location. Tell the contact person for your local community that you are interested in attending Emmaus and that you would like to find a sponsor.