It is evening in a small village in Judea and two old people are setting out their supper dishes. They have lived here all their lives; it’s a good place to be – only a few miles from the city when they want to go there for festivals. Their family live close by with children and grandchildren always dropping in.
This evening their daughter has brought them a dish of her special lentils for supper. The old man places it in the centre of the table and the room is filled with its warm spicy smell.
The old woman still makes her own bread, and she fetches it now and places it on the table. They sit down opposite each other, and the old man takes the bread and breaks it in two to share with her.
They look at each other and smile. For they never forget that other supper, so long ago now, and those other hands breaking the bread.
They have never been the ones at the centre of the action. Not for them the years spent leading the early church in Jerusalem or careering around the Mediterranean preaching to anyone who will listen. They seem to have avoided the years of drama, the dangers of persecution, imprisonment and death. Even when he was alive, they were not amongst his inner circle of the twelve and the women at Bethany.
Living their lives of quiet witness, they do not know (and never will) that the story of their walk home from Jerusalem will be retold every year at Easter for the next twenty centuries.
It does not matter that they are not the important people, the leaders, the inner circle. Walking home to Emmaus that night, the Son of God walked beside them and used his limited time to tell them his own story. As he broke the bread at their supper table, he was with them in a new and different way.
He still is.