Over the next four evenings we will journey in the story found in Luke 24:13-34 – the walk to Emmaus story. Bit by bit, we’ll make our way through the story. (It is also the text for this Sunday’s sermon.) In our scripture for today we hear that as Cleopas and one other were walking to Emmaus their eyes were kept from recognizing the Risen Jesus. I don’t think the author included this detail merely to increase the suspense of the story or to reveal their faults or lack of faith. They weren’t walking aimlessly nor were they uncommunicative. They got the importance of the things that happened and it seems to me they are trying to figure out what the significance was for them and the others. But they were not able to do that. Their eyes were kept from recognizing who was with them.
Interestingly, the question that I did not ask was: How many times has Jesus come near me and I didn’t notice? There is no way to answer that question. Perhaps through hindsight (or what they now call “after action review”) I may be able to identify and acknowledge some missed opportunities of recognizing Christ. When I look backwards I can see where the nearness of Christ impacted my actions and behavior – still, I missed recognizing Christ.
But what if instead of focusing on what the causes are that keep us from recognizing the presence of Christ, we change the perspective and ask ourselves what helps me to notice the nearness of Christ? So the question to ask is this: When was the last time I recognized the nearness of Jesus?
That’s our invitation to you for this evening (or in the morning). Tarry with the question: When was the last time you recognized that Jesus was near? But also reflect on what caused you or helped or influenced you to notice the nearness of Christ. What was present in that experienced in which you become aware of Christ’s nearness? Because if you can identify those foundational ingredients then you can draw upon them going forward. That means, you’ll be more open to experiencing the nearness of Christ in your life.
Scripture Reading: The Walk to Emmaus Luke 24:13-17
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.
What do you need to talk about today?
What keeps you distracted?
How are you doing these days when it feels like we’re standing still?
Prayer: Holy God, I’m grateful that you are near. When my eyes become shut or I wander aimlessly, help me to draw from my deep well of past occasions and remembrances when I did recognize your nearness. I’ve been in your presence before and I know I will be again. Amen.
Zoom Bible Study will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays
starting tomorrow, April 21st, at 10:00 a.m. for 4 weeks. We will
look at the post resurrection appearances of Jesus. If you would like to
be a part of this study please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or email@example.com. to receive login information.
Wednesday Evening Prayer Service via livestream begins at
6:45 p.m. and lasts between 15 and 20 minutes.
Sunday we will start livingstreaming 15 minutes before the
service which begins at 9:45 a.m. Music will fill this time in
preparation for Worship.
Send more pictures so that we can share with our PIne Shores family on Sunday. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send prayer requests for the prayer chain to email@example.com.
Check out Virtual Children’s Church and JOY Company with Miss Allison by going to Pine Shores Presbyterian Church homepage.
To view previous readings click HERE