Psalm of Praise: Psalms 119:171-172
May my lips overflow with praise,
for you teach me your decrees.
May my tongue sing of your word,
for all your commands are righteous.
Bible Reading: Luke 24:28-32
As they approached the village to which they were going,
Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly,
"Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over."
So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them,
he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us
while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"
I am aware of times in my life when God has seemed very close, some of these have been during very difficult times, others have been at times of great joy. Equally there have been difficult times and good times when God has seemed distant. It seems there are times when God chooses to reveal himself more clearly than others. And I am sure there are times when it is me that has moved in or out of his presence.
I see this interplay of closeness and distance in the journey on the road to Emmaus. Jesus had been distant at a very difficult time for the disciples, and then he was there walking with them but unrecognised. During the following conversation they develop a relationship with him so that, when they arrive in Emmaus and he appeared to be moving on, they invited him to stay.
I wonder how often we let Jesus move on out of our daily experience because we fail to invite him to stay, we let the moment go. It seems that God initiates the possibility of a relationship with us but the choice to continue the relationship is ours. He will not force himself.
Later that evening Jesus broke bread with them and their eyes were opened. Breaking bread was Jesus’ signature tune; he had done it on many occasions. Then, we are told, their eyes were opened and they recognised who it was who had walked and talked with them, and they realised that their hearts had burned within them when he opened the scriptures to them.
Maybe you need God to open your eyes to his presence with you today. Or maybe you know someone whose eyes you would love God to open. If either is the case, why not ask God to do so.
And then Jesus disappeared. He had encouraged them; they were no longer downcast and could move on with faith in their Risen Lord. Let us thank God for the close encounters we have with him, when it seems that our hearts burn within us, and let us move on in faith when he no longer seems quite so close.
Lord Jesus, thank you that you are always with me through your Holy Spirit.
Give me the faith to walk in the light of your resurrection today and always.
It is the cry of my heart.