The risen Lord Jesus gave an extraordinary gift to two disciples from his wider acquaintance, to a man named Cleopas and his friend. Without revealing who he was, he caught up to them as they were walking a few miles outside Jerusalem to the little town of Emmaus. He drew them into conversation about the tumultuous events of the last three days, and seeing their confusion gave them a private Easter Day lesson in Old Testament interpretation that they would never forget.
As they drew near their destination, they implored him: “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over” (Luke 24:29). And he did.
All Christians resonate with that impassioned plea. We need Jesus in our homes and in our lives too. We are lost without him; we have everything when we have him. His presence brings hope, comfort, and passion for our mission. Henry Lyte was an Anglican priest who was profoundly moved as he attended the deathbed of a fellow pastor. The hymn he wrote based on that experience has brought inspiration and peace to millions of Christians all over the world as we contemplate the swift passage of time:
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, oh, abide with me!