The Gospel of St. Luke relates the story of the risen Christ appearing to two friends walking the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. As they walked, they shared their hearts' deepest concerns.
The risen Christ appeared to Cleopas and his companion. Jesus walked along with them, explaining the scriptures as they walked - how it was ordained that Christ should suffer and so enter His glory. The illuminating climax of the experience was when Christ went into their home, where He took bread and said the blessing, then broke it and gave it to them. The two had their eyes opened and they recognized Him as the risen Christ. They remarked to one another how their hearts "burned within" them as they had walked along the road and they rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the others. (Luke 24:13-35)
The above story provides the image for Emmaus,which is presented to its "pilgrims" to call forth and renew Christian discipleship. The Walk to Emmaus is under the guidance and leadership of The Upper Room. Like its predecessor, Cursillo de Christiandad (Spanish for "short course in Christianity"), the Walk to Emmaus is a three-day experience which takes a New Testament look at Christianity as a lifestyle. It is a highly structured weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people, and through them their families, congregations and the whole world in which they live. Emmaus is a combined effort of laity and clergy toward the renewal of the church.
What Happens At Emmaus?
The "Walk to Emmaus" is a 72 hour experience. The weekend begins on Thursday evening and ends Sunday evening. At Emmaus you will spend three busy but very enjoyable days, at BASIC in Hardin, Kentucky. You will live and study together in singing, prayer, worship, and discussion. You'll discover how grace is real in your life, and how you can live in the life of grace, bringing grace to others. You will have the opportunity to participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion, and to begin to understand more fully the presence of Christ in His body of believers. You will experience God's grace personally through the prayers and acts of service of a living support community.
What Happens After Emmaus?
One of the primary strengths of Emmaus is the follow-up. Your weekend lasts only three days, but you are invited to build on it for the rest of your life. Those who attend a "Walk to Emmaus" are encouraged to do two things following their weekend:
Expand their own spiritual lives through study and congregational participation;
Become more active disciples of Christ in the world through their churches.
To nurture this process of discipleship, the Emmaus movement offers specific opportunities. First, reunion groups of varying size meet to reflect on their quest for spiritual growth and encourage one another in discipleship. Second, there will be meetings called Community Gatherings. All people in a particular Emmaus community or area are invited for fellowship, worship, and informal instruction. Third, through this website, group emails and Facebook page, members become aware of support needs for upcoming Walks to Emmaus and there are opportunities to work during future weekends in a variety of ways.
History Of Emmaus
Originating in Spain in the late 1940's, Cursillo moved to America in the late 1950's. It was primarily a Roman Catholic movement until the 1970's. As Catholic centers started accepting applications from Protestants, efforts began among some groups to make the Cursillo experience available to all Protestants. In the late 1970's, the Upper Room (a unit of the Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church) formed The Upper Room Cursillo Community in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1981, by mutual agreement between the National Secretariat of the Roman Catholic Cursillo movement and The Upper Room, the name of the Nashville Protestant community was changed to Emmaus. The Emmaus movement is ecumenical.
Purpose Of Emmaus
The focus of Emmaus is God as known in Jesus Christ and how that finds expression in the local church. The objective of Emmaus is to inspire, challenge, and equip local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches, and places of work. Emmaus lifts up a way for our grace-filled life to be lived and shared with others.
Who Should Go To Emmaus?
Emmaus is for the development of Christian leaders who...
. . .wish to strengthen their spiritual lives;
. . . may have unanswered questions about prayer, study, and sharing their faith;
. . . understand that being a Christian involves responsibility;
. . . are willing to dedicate their everyday lives to God in an ongoing manner.
Emmaus is open to members of any denomination.
Are You Interested?
We invite you to join in a refreshing weekend spent meeting Jesus as He comes to you through other Christians. Email us and we'd be happy to provide more information.