Two New Sonnets for the road to Emmaus

Christ appears to the Apostles on the road to Emmaus. Mosaic (6th)

Christ appears to the Apostles on the road to Emmaus. Mosaic (6th century)

As we walk together into the beautiful Easter season I thought I would post two new sonnets reflecting on the encounter two disciples had with the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus. The story is told in Luke 24:13-35. This beautiful story helps to unfold the meaning of Christ’s resurrection and itself leads to a resurrection of joy and hope in the grieving disciples.

These two sonnets form part of a new sequence of fifty sonnets on the sayings of Jesus called Parable and Paradox. They will be published in a book of that title this June and it is already available for or-order on Amazon Here.

Parable and Paradox

Parable and Paradox

As always you can hear me read the poems by clicking on the title or the ‘play’ button

Emmaus 1


Luke 24:17 ‘He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast’.


And do you ask what I am speaking of

Although you know the whole tale of my heart;

Its longing and its loss, its hopeless love?

You walk beside me now and take my part

As though a stranger, one who doesn’t know

The pit of disappointment, the despair

The jolts and shudders of my letting go,

My aching for the one who isn’t there.


And yet you know my darkness from within,

My cry of dereliction is your own,

You bore the isolation of my sin

Alone, that I need never be alone.

Now you reveal the meaning of my story

That I, who burn with shame, might blaze with glory.


Emmaus 2


Luke 24:25-26 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?


We thought that everything was lost and gone,

Disaster on disaster overtook us

The night we left our Jesus all alone

And we were scattered, and our faith forsook us.

But oh that foul Friday proved far worse,

For we had hoped that he had been the one,

Till crucifixion proved he was a curse,

And on the cross our hopes were all undone.


Oh foolish foolish heart why do you grieve?

Here is good news and comfort to your soul:

Open your mind to scripture and believe

He bore the curse for you to make you whole

The living God was numbered with the dead

That He might bring you Life in broken bread.


Filed under christianity, Poems

10 responses to “Two New Sonnets for the road to Emmaus

  1. Alison Aston

    Dear Malcolm, I went to the Stations of the Cross last Friday at Coventry Cathedral and heard your sonnets for the first time. I just wanted to say I found them very powerful and moving. I have just printed and copied ‘Jesus falls for a third time’ for a friend who is going through a really difficult time after her brother’s death. Her suffering is made worse by her own mental anguish arising from abuse she suffered as a child as well as long-term mental health problems. I have known her for over 30 years and she has been through so much, yet she hangs on to her faith. Thank you for your poems. Alison

  2. Thank you, Malcolm! I preached from this passage this past Sunday, as sermon I entitled “When All Seems Lost.” I can only hope I communicated the pathos of the grieving travelers so well as you did.

  3. Pingback: Two New Sonnets for the road to Emmaus — Malcolm Guite | Revue Zamano

  4. ericmancil

    Thank you, Mr. Guite. Your sonnet, “Emmaus 2,” enriched the short homily that I delivered at a healing service this past Wednesday. I have shared it on my personal blog for those who were not there.

  5. vijay

    wonderful poems.Very inspiring. A matter of small importance, nevertheless i need to mention: One of the immutable properties of God is that he cannot die or even be numbered among the dead. I’d rather the poem reads ‘ The incarnate God was numbered with dead,…’

  6. Simon

    Hi Malcolm, I came across your sonnets while researching for a sermon on the road to Emmaus passage. I loved them and shared Emmaus 1, but didn’t think to ask about copyright first! Apologies, but how do you feel about your work being shared as part of an online sermon? And sorry, I couldn’t find an email address or contact page. Thank you!

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