|In his memoir, Pastor Eugene Peterson writes of his Sabbath practice with his wife. He describes their preparation for their day: the making of a lunch of sandwiches and fruit, the gathering of walking sticks, binoculars and weather gear, the driving to a trailhead within thirty minutes of their home. When they arrived, he said, his wife would read a Psalm and pray and then they would be off. On a hike. Or a walk. For three hours, they would hike together in silence, looking, observing, paying attention. Then they would stop, have a prayer, eat lunch and begin their conversation. The conversation continued as they walked back. They would talk about what they observed walking and “conversations of the past week; reflections on Sunday’s worship. Old memories jogged out of silence…We paid attention to the holy week we had just lived through.”
Discussion, conversation while out on a walk.
Mary-Ellen and I have learned the same truth in our life together. When we walk, remove ourselves from distraction and pay attention to one another, our lives and the world, we have time and space for a conversation. In the walking, we go deeper than we might if we were talking anywhere else.
This Sunday in worship, we will read the story of a couple out for a walk (Luke 24:13-35). Not surprisingly, they talk as they walk together. We overhear part of their conversation of grief and disappointment, of loss and tragedy. We will also see that they acquire a traveling companion who changes the conversation and, in so doing, changes their lives.
I hope you’ll join us Sunday as we walk together through our Easter series, “The Seven Next Words,” and hear Jesus ask, “what were you discussing?” Come prepared to join the conversation.
By the way, the title of the chapter from Pastor Peterson’s Sabbath practice? “Emmaus Walk.”
Grace and peace.