Skip to main content

How many of you remember Polaroids? All right, for our younger people, who does anybody not know what a Polaroid is? Raise your hand if you don’t know what a Polaroid is. Boys, over there. All right. A Polaroid. Can you I just want you to guess. What do you think it is? Polaroid. What first comes to mind? Pole. Okay, good. Like a pole that you might climb or slide down. Like a fireman’s pole. Does anybody else not know what a Polaroid is? Oh, you know what it is. A  camera. So the Polaroid cameras were these instant Polaroid films that came out of the camera. 

So remember 20 years ago when you used to take pictures, you would have to take them to the store, drop them off, and three days later, you would find out if your pictures were even good or not. Well, they developed a Polaroid where you could instantly get the picture. You took the picture, and it would spit out of the front of the camera. And you would get this first. It was black, and you’d have to shake it and blow on it. And after a few moments, you will start to see the image. And then, before you know it, you will have the picture right in front of you. Polaroid was a great invention because it made that pictures so accessible and ready. But it took a moment still even for that picture to show. 

I want to use that image to talk about how the disciples came to know and experience Jesus on this road to Emmaus. See, at first, they were walking, and they were talking to each other about all the things that happened. And they were downcast. The film hadn’t been exposed yet. They were downcast, and they were talking to each other about how they thought Jesus would be the one to save them and how now that he was crucified, he suffered, died, and was crucified. Maybe he’s not the one to save them. And in that moment, Jesus walks in their midst, and before they realize it, he’s already there with them. But he’s a stranger. They don’t recognize him. And so he says to them, why are you so downcast? What are you talking about? As you walk along the way? And something is very interesting about that is he realizes that they are downcast, that their faces are cast down. 

Remember the phrase, why the long face? That’s the same phrase that’s used in the Greek there; why the long face? If you’ve ever seen somebody that looks sad or looks downcast, I think it’s good to ask people, why the long face? That’s what Jesus did. He says, Why are you so sad as you’re talking on the road? Because when we ask somebody or acknowledge that they are looking long-faced or sad, it allows them to talk. And sometimes all we have to do is just listen to somebody let them share their story of what’s going on. And so Jesus does this to them. He says, Why are you downcast? What are you talking about? As you walk along the way. And they go on to describe to Him how they thought this.

First of all, they say, are you the only one that doesn’t know what’s going on? And they describe how Jesus promised all these things, and they thought he would be the one to save Israel. And it’s now the third day, and Jesus look at them and says, oh, how foolish you are. Do you not know that the Son of man had to die and rise? And as they walk along the way, he tells them all of Scripture. So now he’s starting to shake that polaroid, and he’s starting to make Scripture come to life for them. He’s telling them all the prophets in the Old Testament spoke that the Messiah would come but that he would suffer and die. And he reminds them of the things that happened all along the way. They still don’t recognize him. It hasn’t been fully developed yet. And it doesn’t become fully developed until they get to that point where they say, Jesus stays with us for the evening, it is already drawing near. He comes to them and dines with them. And it’s in the moment of the breaking of the bread that sudden,ly that image becomes clear. Their eyes are open, those that were prevented from being open before. And they see Him all of a sudden in the breaking of the bread. But he only does it for a moment, and then he vanishes, and they begin to realize what happened.

They said, weren’t our hearts burning within us as we walked with Him on the way? And he was opening scripture to us. For us, in our faith life, we walk a very similar journey as them. Our faith is a process of development where the image of God is not always clear to us at times. And sometimes it takes God shaking us in our lives, sometimes it’s the breathing of the Holy Spirit upon that polaroid image. And he comes to us when we celebrate the Eucharist in just a few moments as the bread and wine are turned into the body and blood of Christ and held up before us. It’s like that exposure, that flashing of light that makes the image clear. And when we come to the Eucharist, we, like the disciples, don’t always experience Him in our lives. Or we have questions about God or doubts about God, or we ourselves are Downcaster or long-faced. But in the moment of the consecration, it’s like this flash of light that comes out upon us. And deep in our hearts, god is revealing and developing something within us. Now, many times in our faith life, it’s only for a moment. So if you think back, even on Lentor Easter, hopefully, you had some experience of Jesus, especially when you did pray 40 days. Hopefully, you saw Him or felt Him or heard his voice, but it was momentary. I don’t know why God works that way. I wish it were always, but it is a reality of how he reveals Himself to us.

So as we come together to celebrate this Eucharist, I just invite you to let your hearts experience the exposure of the Eucharist when we look upon Him, when that bread and wine are consecrated into the very real presence of the body and blood of Christ, something happens within us. The exposure begins, and it will become clear to us. So we celebrate this Easter season knowing that God is continuing to develop Himself within us, and he will continue to reveal Himself to us, especially here in the breaking of the bread.