Do we have hope today? In the beginning of the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus was born, there is great hope, great rejoicing. Those who came to see Him in the manger were filled with hope and joy. Later, in the temple, the old man, Simeon, had his hope fulfilled. It was the same with Anna, the prophetess.
This is the same Jesus we have today. At the end of Luke’s Gospel, two of Jesus’ disciples are walking to Emmaus. They are talking about hope. They say, “We had hoped…” They speak of hope as past; their hope is over.
A stranger joins them and walks with them and asks about their sadness. They let him know that they had hopes, expectations: “Now everything is gone, our expectations are crushed.” Does that remind you a little of today – that sense of the absence of God? We remember times when God was so present, and now perhaps we are at a point in our life where we say, “My hopes have not been fulfilled, where is God?” Hope begins to turn to despair, to desperation. When we start speaking about hope in the past tense we do not notice Jesus, He becomes a stranger to us.
There are situations we cannot control, life can be hard.
Jesus did not separate himself from this real world. He took it all upon Himself and says to us, His followers, “I will help you through. I am not going to save you from difficulties or sorrows, but I will be with you.”
The minute we are kind, as those two men on the road were kind to this stranger, inviting him to their table, we become companions. We are not just walking side-by-side, but really com-pane, breaking “bread together”, eating bread together. Then they recognize Jesus, He becomes part of them, hope is back, their hearts are burning with joy. All of a sudden, everything becomes clear!
This is our life too. We are not saved from the difficulties of this life, but we have hope, we have Jesus, and He is walking by our side.