UPDATE – Made a few changes (thanks for the suggestions) and added a doxological stanza. Tune suggestions below.
There is a great fear of death here in Papua New Guinea as there was for many hundreds of years of Christianity, even after Jesus rose from the dead. Even today, some Christians fear death. One of the great gifts of the Reformation and the Lutheran theology that followed is the emphasis their songs placed on the victory that Christians have over death and that it is therefore nothing to fear (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).
So I was sorting through and deleting old files on my computer when I came across this little poem that I wrote in 2009. I’m not really a poet, but I thought I may as well revise it and place it on my blog so I don’t lose it again. The rhyme is somewhat free since I considered the message to be more important than the rhyme.
It is intended to be a hymn that personalizes for each Christian the story of Jesus appearing to the two men on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection (Luke 24:13-35), hence the title “My Emmaus Road.” I don’t remember what inspired me to write it, but it speaks to how followers of Jesus Christ need not fear death because when they die, they will see Jesus and be with Him eternally. It is more of a personal, devotional text and therefore may not be as appropriate for congregational singing.
My Emmaus Road
While wandering I saw a road.
Not knowing whence it came or went
I looked to left, then right and saw
an empty cross, an empty tomb.
A Man appeared and beckoned me
to walk with Him upon this road.
He told how God, in deepest love,
sent One to die from heav’n above.
We walked and talked upon that road.
We laughed and dined. What joy was mine!
What peace, what love, what victory.
Salvation now was clear to me.
God’s perfect world our sin had foiled.
His perfect anger had been roiled
as His own creatures disobeyed
and spoiled the glorious world He’d made.
But in His perfect love God spared
all those who looked upon that cross
for all His anger God had hung
and cast upon His only Son.
But though He died, God’s Son arose
victoriously on Easter morn
so we can live in victory
until our Easter dawn we see.
That Man then left me on the road.
My sadness turned to joy as His
disciples joined me ‘til road’s end
stood Jesus, smiling, God’s own Son.
We ran, we hugged. With kiss of peace
Christ asked us all to join His feast.
What joy! What peace! We entered in
eternally to dine with Him.
Just then the heavn’ly choir sang.
Throughout the hall their voices rang:
“Praise God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One!”
Copyright © 2009 and 2018 Martin P. Dicke. All rights reserved.
LM (88 88)
Suggested tunes: Some have suggested VOM HIMMEL HOCH or PUER NOBIS. Any Long Meter (88 88) tune could be used such as ERHALT UNS HERR or DUKE STREET. Even the Twila Paris tune LAMB OF GOD would work if say the tune for Refrain was sung only on the last stanza.
Soli Deo Gloria!
If you have not done so already, please check out the page that chronicles our Mission Work in Papua New Guinea.