“But they urged him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.'” Luke 24:29
Two people were walking from Jerusalem to a village nearby. They were discussing the crucifixion of Jesus, reliving the events of the past few days. They couldn’t make any sense of it. They “had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” But on Friday Jesus had died. Their hopes were dashed.
Then suddenly Jesus, the risen Lord, came to walk with them. But they didn’t recognize him. Like any good counselor, Jesus let the travelers talk; if anyone can listen, Jesus can. He comes to people who have lost hope.
But then Jesus also spoke. He explained how the events of the past few days fulfilled the Scriptures of God’s people Israel. He showed how the Law and the Prophets had predicted that the Christ would suffer, die, be buried, and then be raised on the third day. As they approached their village, the travelers persuaded Jesus to come in and stay with them, for the day would soon be over.
Because Jesus is alive, he joins us on our journeys as well. He also comes in to spend more time with us when the darkness grows deep. Even more, he promises to remain with us till the journey is done.
Henry Francis Lyte wrote the hymn “Abide with Me” based on this request for Jesus to stay with the two followers. It’s our prayer for today.
Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me. Amen.