Lenten Quiet Day: The Road to Emmaus

by The Reverend Deacon Marline Wruck

I titled this article “The Road To Emmaus” because I was starting to work on my sermon for the first Sunday of May, when Diane Guilford’s request came to write an article on the Quiet Day hosted by the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer on March 22. I recalled filling out the registration for the retreat and definitely knew I was cheating both God and myself for not slowing down.

The caption for the Lenten Retreat stated: “Give yourself the gift of a day to be still, to  be present with oneself and with God, to be aware of the movement of God within us.” As the tears rolled down my cheeks, I realized my absolute need for this day.

When we spin out in our specific ministry, we sometimes fail to recognize that Jesus is walking beside us.

When our “busy-ness” becomes the thing we are totally engrossed in, we fail to see Jesus clearly. I was definitely in that space in March. I was cheating God out of God’s time. That is when I decided to slow down to spend the day at the retreat.

Those on the Road to Emmaus did not recognize Jesus when he was in their very midst.

When we spin out in our specific ministry, we sometimes fail to recognize that Jesus is walking beside us.

Our Lenten Quiet Day started with a wonderful welcoming from those who prayerfully created this day. The Reverend Aubrey Hemminger led us into readings for personal reflection starting with Luke 4:16-21, in the form of Lectio Divina. This is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer, intended to promote communion with God and the living word. We were invited to stay in silence for about 10 minutes between readings, a true gift for me and the others. We reflected on:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

We then entered into what Aubrey called, “The Prayer of Imagination”, referring to John 4: 5-30. We were invited to put ourselves in the place of the woman at the well, and throughout the reading imagined ourselves in various roles.

Aubrey spoke about what holds us captive. We were invited in a prayerful way to write down the things that imprison us on a small piece of paper, representing a brick. We placed it on the wall, named what makes us captives and prayed for healing.

In the afternoon there were six stations set up in various places at the venue. A biblical verse, symbols to reflect upon, and a creative reading depicted each topic. We were invited to visit each station, spend as much silent time as needed, and engage in activity to let the passage become ‘’flesh’’.

To be gifted with that time for reflection was “Holy Time”. We were nourished by the leadership and ministry of Aubrey who led us in prayer and Nancy Aasland, whose music and words enhanced our day together.

We were nourished physically and socially by the people of St. Mary Magdalene, who prepared a delicious, tasty meal. We were truly nourished. At the conclusion of our time together we celebrated Eucharist, receiving “The Bread of Life” which sustains us. And for all of this we are truly grateful.