We’re excited that the Washington Post’s “On Faith” section today features guest commentary from Stacy Martin, LIRS Vice President for Mission Advancement. “From the Road to Emmaus to the Supreme Court” begins:
Mine is not the sort of faith that credits divine providence for the goings-on in the world. But even I can’t avoid the striking coincidence that the Supreme Court this week takes up a watershed civil rights case, “Arizona v. United States,” so soon after many Christians recall “the road to Emmaus” as part of Easter.
This scene in Luke – where, en route to Emmaus, Cleopas and his friend encounter a stranger they later discover was Jesus – is so well-worn that “the road to Emmaus” has become a shorthand that elicits knowing “mmm…hmms” from the faithful when used as a catch-phrase for the mysteriousness of Christ’s presence in the journey called life.”
It’s a hard journey, the one to Emmaus from Jerusalem. Seven miles may seem nothing at all, but, if you’ve been to the Middle East, you know that any journey’s length in that part of the world is no Sunday stroll.
Nevertheless, once Cleopas and his friend recognize Jesus, they rush back to Jerusalem to proclaim that Christ has indeed risen from the dead, knowing they’ll likely be put to death. Having been taught and fed by Jesus himself, and so filled with grace and hope, they risk another journey.
It is on this hard road that Christians embark on their liturgical Easter journey. The journey of Lent ends only to begin Easter with yet another travel tale. For the Christian, faith is nothing if not a journey. It’s a tradition best summarized as ancient travelogue, one whose central narrative is of migration flows patterned by routes in search of the sacred and in escape from slavery and persecution.
For early followers of Jesus, the Easter journey often ended in imprisonment or martyrdom.
Today, contemporary Cleopases and thousands of unnamed friends flee across deserts many miles longer than seven. Their stories are echoed in “Arizona v. United States,” the case against Arizona’s shocking anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1070, that the nine Supreme Court Justices will hear this week.
You can read the rest of “From the Road to Emmaus to the Supreme Court” by clicking here.
Please leave a comment there at the Washington Post, so that their readers gain a sense of how critical the SB 1070 case is to all of us who stand for welcoming immigrants and refugees!