A message from Road to Emmaus Pilgrimages
The impact of God's Word on our lives differs depending on what kind of Christians we are. There are essentially two kinds of Christians, tourists, and pilgrims. Jesus' parable of the sower can be interpreted using this concept of tourist vs. pilgrim. As tourist Christians, the word's impact can be compared to the seeds that fall on the path mentioned in the parable. They are quickly taken away by the evil one and have no impact whatsoever. As pilgrim Christians, the word usually impacts us as if it falls on the following two locations the seeds fall, on the rocks or among the thorns. Such Christians need constant reminders to help them re-enter the world of living in the word and disengage from their worldly concerns. But as permanent pilgrims, the word falls on rich soil and produces an abundance of fruit. All Christians, no matter where they are, need to think about which of the four locations they are when they receive the word of God. The question becomes critical when Christians set their foot in the Holy Land.
When Christians, tourists or pilgrims, visit the Holy Land seeking a spiritual experience, many variables affect the form and depth of the experience, such as spiritual direction (performed by the Holy Spirit, assisted by a pastor or a book), locations visited, and the guide's information and presentation. These variables can help the Christian change the status of his 'location' within the parable.
Some visitors experience a wonderful 'vacation.' Others, such as those on a 'Christian tour,' are touched but are not impacted. Others, who are on a pilgrimage but fail to receive 'proper spiritual direction' or a good 'pilgrim guide,' only experience a reawakening of a seed that had long been dormant within and a longing for a change in their lives but stop at that.
Still others, those who have 'proper spiritual direction' and the 'right pilgrim guide' live a whole new spiritual transformation level. Such transformation, surrounded by tears of joy, becomes a new birth of their personal encounter with Christ and directly impacts their relationship with others. 'Old' Pilgrims joyfully reaffirm their commitment to walking the Road with Christ. The 'New' pilgrims take the first steps on their right Road towards their permanent pilgrimage with His light shining the way. The bottom line is that the capacity to experience a transformative spiritual experience while in the Holy Land and the depth of its impact depends on the recipient, the actual spiritual direction, and the guide's input.
For a Christian, this path, from arrival in the Holy Land to follow the footsteps of Christ, is called 'Road to Emmaus.' Christians, in many parts of the world, have been taking Christ for granted. Christ has become a 'normality' in their lives. Going to church on Sunday is a 'routine,' and they have become too 'cozy' with their faith. To say it differently, Christ and Christianity have stopped challenging their hearts and minds. And many Christians choose to live their lives as tourists rather than pilgrims. And many pilgrims live their life as temporary rather than permanent pilgrims. Christianity without a burning heart for Christ lacks the very essence of its existence.
'Road to Emmaus Pilgrimages' employs guides that conduct Bible-based pilgrimages. They are hand-picked because of their capacity to help Christians move away from being cold tourists or lukewarm pilgrims into becoming permanent pilgrims with burning hearts.
What happened on the first Road to Emmaus?
Christians arriving in the Holy Land experience what their ancestors in the faith have experienced before them. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus were already Christians at heart, confessing and acknowledging the mysteries they had witnessed, but did not really understand what that meant in real life.
The Lord himself appeared to them and gave them the most comprehensive homily from the Scriptures about himself and concluded it with Breaking the Bread. At times, they must have looked at each other thinking, "Wow, we should have been able to understand that, or how could we not see that, or this guy knows so much about Scripture, or could that be our Lord." After breaking the bread at the end of the road, the Holy Spirit opened their eyes, and they were able to SEE him, even though he was no more sitting with them!
With such a clear vision and with a burning heart, they were able to do what they never thought they would do. They returned to Jerusalem and proclaimed the fundamental truth about Christ and Christianity; they proclaimed that 'CHRIST IS RISEN.'
Similarly, a pilgrimage with RTEP will help you realize what you could not before. It will open up the Scriptures so that you will want to hear and learn more. You will be saying, "Wow, how could I have not seen that before, and our God is truly awesome. You will also say 'Christ is Risen' but in a more solid conviction than you ever had before.
Road to Emmaus Pilgrimages-Ambassadors for Christ was founded with the vision and the desire to help you experience Christ in an exceptional and transformative way. Whether tourist or pilgrim, having a cold, lukewarm, or burning heart, the Scripture-based walk to Emmaus with our hand-picked guides, is unlike any pilgrimage experience you will ever have.