The idea of being a companion to God has a nice ring to it, but understanding what that actually means can be a bit tricky. For most of us the default position since the Sunday school days of childhood has been to think about our relationship to the divine as a human being down here on earth trying to reach a God up there in the heavens somewhere. The distance between us seems almost like we’re hoping to “friend” God through some giant, cosmic Facebook platform but have to wait for permission to connect. Luckily our elder brother Jesus gave us a clear perspective on this subject when he revealed a higher truth. Jesus taught—and proved through his life and work—that the spirit of God is present right here and right now. It is within us. “God with us” was the Master’s constant mantra. But if that’s the case, just what does becoming a divine companion entail?
Edgar Cayce left us a big clue in his unique take on the story of the road to Emmaus found in the Gospel of Luke. According to the readings (1151-4), which parallel the biblical account, it was three days after the Crucifixion and a Roman soldier named Philoas whose job was to inspect the activities around the village of Emmaus, was walking back to Jerusalem. Cleopas, a tax collector, and Luke, the beloved physician, accompanied him on this portion of the journey. The three men were deep in conversation about the recent events on Calvary when a stranger approaches and starts to walk with them. Noting that the people he had just joined seemed sad, the stranger asks why. Cleopas answers that the man must not be from the area because that’s the only way he could have missed the news. The priests and rulers had delivered Jesus of Nazareth, an innocent man, to be condemned to death. And after he was executed a woman visiting the sepulcher discovered his tomb empty and saw angels who told her that Jesus was alive.
The stranger remains with the group all day as they draw closer to Emmaus, with evening approaching the disciples decide to stop for the night. And when their fellow traveler acts as if he will keep on going the others implore him to stay. The stranger agrees and sits down for a meal with his new friends. The readings then describe the mysterious guest as taking some bread, blessing it and breaking it into pieces before handing the morsels to the men. At that moment the disciples’ eyes are suddenly opened, and they are astonished to realize that it’s their Lord. They had been walking down the dusty road to Emmaus in the company of the Christ all along.
The story of the so-called stranger who wasn’t a stranger contains multiple layers of meaning. On the surface it represents the fulfillment of the Master’s promise to the ages. “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” He declared more than 2,000 years ago. And it’s true. Although no longer visible in a physical form, the Christ spirit is ever present in this world. Moreover, whenever we invite that spirit in, He will come and dine with us. This Christ is the unseen companion on our soul’s sacred journey through time and space—ever guarding, supplying and showing the way.
For our purposes the story of the road to Emmaus speaks to the question of how each of us can become a companion to God. The answer is hidden in plain sight. We become divine companions the moment we open our eyes to recognize the Christ in another and share the best we have to offer (our bread) with them. Shocking as it may seem, every person on earth—the teenager sitting next to us in the cinema, the believer who attends a different church than we do, even our loudmouth uncle—carries the spark of divinity inside. Temples of the living God is how the Bible describes us.
Contrary to what we may believe about the various scenes and circumstances that crop up in our lives, the Cayce readings maintain that no meeting is by chance. The briefest encounter with another soul has the capacity to transform us forever. In that same vein the New Testament reminds us to “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” [Hebrews 13:2] Be they friend or foe, each individual who crosses our path has arrived there for a purpose. And that purpose is to help mold us into fitting companions to the Creator.
The love we express today through a simple act of kindness toward a stranger, family member, neighbor, or co-worker is companioning with the divine. Our actions may be as small as choosing to smile at the clerk in the grocery store or speak to someone we might otherwise have avoided. Or as large as embracing a perceived enemy: the ones we’ve labelled sinners, losers, hateful, or not of our own tribe. The opportunities to express companionship are boundless. Perhaps the Cayce readings said it best when they warned that we will not be in heaven—that state of consciously knowing our oneness with God—until we are “leaning on the arm of someone [we] have helped” (Reading 3352-1). Such is the nature of true companionship.
This blog is part of our 2019 Enlightenment Series. Members can access all of the available material, which includes an online video and downloadable monthly lesson, in the Member-only section of our website at EdgarCayce.org/members. Not a member? Join now.