“Sometime you will have to share the story of how you chose the name Emmaus Academy. I’m sure you didn’t just pick any random name. There must be a reason behind it.”
No, we did not. Yes, there is.
This very conversation has repeated itself multiple times over the course of the last few months. Some have never heard the word “Emmaus.” For others, there is a recollection of hearing that name before – is it something from the Bible? And then there are those who know the story and want to hear how it connects to ours.
Not random at all. A result of much thought and prayer.
We do not often have the privilege, the responsibility in this life of bestowing a name upon something. Most of us only go through this rite when we bring children into this world, and we reflect and contemplate as we undergo the process of choosing. That is because it means so much. In a sense, we are blessing those we name. We are recognizing that, while we know they are individuals born with their own personalities, characteristics, and gifts, their names will be a portion of who they are. My children are all named for someone from in our family; their names give them a sense of history, a place in this ongoing familial story. My friends have children named Sophia, which means wisdom, or Charis, which means grace. Names like these are the very prayers of a parent’s heart; prayers that the Lord would not only be gracious in showering them with His wisdom and grace, but also that He would cultivate those virtues within these children. Names can define who we are, what we become.
So how is it that we settled upon “Emmaus”?
It was the desire to create a learning environment modeled after the one the disciples experienced on that road so long ago. A place where questions and conversation are encouraged. A place where historical and current events are examined in light of eternity. A place where hearts would burn with the recognition of Truth, perhaps even before they can see it with their eyes. A place to commune and grow with others. A place that prepares them to eagerly share what they have learned with others, so that they, too, may have hearts that are prepared to receive Truth.
Concluding that this would, indeed, be the right name, we stood and moved from one room to the other. As we did, we passed a picture hanging on the wall, which none of us had noticed earlier. It seemed to me a blessing and a confirmation that we were on the right path.
This is the history. This is the prayer. This is the mission of Emmaus Academy. And while we are laboring to create this environment for the students, it is our desire to provide a similar community for our families … a place where we can converse, question, discuss. A place where we can learn with and from one another. A place where we can grow.
At a time when so many blogs are truly devoted to the trivial, we launch Notabilia and devote its pages to truth, goodness, and beauty, with prayers that it will bless you.
That is the story. That is the purpose.