Below is a new hymn text based on the story of Jesus appearing to two men on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection (Luke 24:13-35). In the vast repertoire of Christian hymns I don’t recall any that deal with this text. I wrote this little poem in 2009 and just found it again on my computer. Although I am not really a poet, I decided I may as well revise it and place it here so that I don’t lose it again and in case some might find this little piece of sacred music useful.
There is a great fear of death here in Papua New Guinea as there has been for many throughout history. Even Christians fear death, although Scripture teaches that they have nothing to fear (1 Corinthians 15:55-56). 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 through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Death is swallowed up by death” is how Martin Luther (1483-1546) puts it in his hymn “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands.” Therefore, it is nothing to fear for those who believe.
I don’t remember what inspired me to write this little poem, 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.
The Emmaus Road
Burdened one day with heavy load
we came across a lonely road
proceeding from a cross, a tomb
both empty and replete with doom.
Stunned and confused, what misery.
A Man appeared to us and He
explained how God, in deepest love,
sent forth His Son from heav’n above.
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
those who confessed, their sin declared.
For all His anger God had hung
and cast upon Jesus, His Son.
But though He died, God’s Son arose
victoriously on Easter morn.
Thus we can live in victory
until our Easter dawn we see.
What peace, what love, what victory.
Salvation now was clear to me.
We walked and talked, what joy was mine
when late that night we stopped to dine.
He blessed the food then disappeared.
Astonished, His Words we revered.
We joined His foll’wers ‘til road’s end
there stood He, Jesus, our good friend.
With sweet embrace, with kiss of peace
He asked us all to join the feast.
We entered in with joy divine,
with peace, with love, with God to dine.
Just then the heavn’ly choir sang.
Throughout the hall their voices rang:
“Praise to the Lamb who died that we
might live with God eternally!”
Copyright © 2020 Martin P. Dicke. All rights reserved.
LM (88 88)
Suggested tunes: Some have suggested PUER NOBIS or VOM HIMMEL HOCH. Any other Long Meter (88 88) tune could be used such as ERHALT UNS HERR or DUKE STREET.
If you would like to use this text, please write to [email protected].
Soli Deo Gloria!
If you have not done so already, please check out the page that chronicles our Mission Work in Papua New Guinea.