Lessons from The Walk of Emmaus

Girl walking in a forest.

Have you ever been so focused on the tasks at hand that you lose sight as to why you’re doing it? With all of the chaos in the world, we often get so caught up in the noise that we lose sight of what’s important for the heart. Work and life commitments can tend to drown out our day which makes us lose sight of the very person who should be the center of it all.

This isn’t something new because I was reminded of two followers of Jesus during their walk to Emmaus after His resurrection.

  “That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him.”-Luke 24:13-16 (NLT).

I wonder how often Jesus has been right beside us and we haven’t even noticed. We often say that He is omnipresent but in moments of uncertainty, we ask Him why He isn’t there.

I think of the times where I’ve cried out to Jesus and asked Him to seem more present in my life because I couldn’t recognize Him or see Him moving in my situations. But what if He has been there the whole time but yet, I’ve been too focused on the issue and not enough on seeking Him.

The two followers of Jesus were so concerned with all that had happened that when Jesus walked with them, they were still too caught up in the moment to notice.

“By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!”– Luke 24:28-31 (NLT).

How sad would it be for Jesus to appear to us and show how He’s been there the entire time but yet we’ve been too occupied with other things?

I’m not sure how the followers felt once they realized it was Jesus. During their entire walk, they were trying to figure out why He was no longer in the tomb. They were too blinded to see that He wasn’t in the tomb because He was right beside them.

It crushes my heart to imagine Jesus walking next to me and I’m too busy to acknowledge Him. How often has this been the case in your life? Maybe you are praying for Him to show up and move in your situation but failing to acknowledge that He’s right here.

My prayer is that we stop wondering where He is and instead acknowledge that He is here and ever-present.

Lord, I want to meet you right where you are even if I don’t feel or hear you next to me, I want to always acknowledge your presence for I know that you are with me.

Palm Sunday Reflections: A God of Second Chances

AdobeStock_21347373.jpegAs we reflect on this Palm Sunday, I think it is important to read the resurrection and truly understand the magnitude of what Jesus did for us. I want to take today to revisit The Resurrection from the book of Mark.

Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” Mark 16:1-7 (NLT)

I keep thinking about verse 7: “go and tell his disciples, including Peter”. I pondered here for some time because Peter was one of the twelve disciples so why does it read his disciples and Peter?

I had to study this further to truly grasp the context here. Peter walked with Jesus and had the opportunity to see first-hand some of the most amazing miracles. But Jesus made it clear before he was nailed to the cross that Peter would be the one to deny him three times. It’s hard to grasp how someone who experienced so much could deny Jesus but he did.

In the book of Luke, it says that after Peter denied him the third time, Jesus turned and looked at Peter. I imagine that it was that look your mom would give you as a child when you were misbehaving: that look of disappointment that makes you want to go cry in the corner.

I can only assume that at that moment, Peter no longer felt worthy of being a disciple. Peter had done the very thing he said he wouldn’t do. He disappointed his Savior in a way that he probably felt could not be forgiven.

I truly believe Peter was called out in this conversation to show that our God is a God of second chances. It was a sweet and humble reminder that although Peter denied Him, God still welcomed him with open arms.

That same invitation is available to us. The Lord knows we will make plenty of mistakes and will fall short but He is here, available and waiting for us. I think we could all substitute our names there to show that regardless of our past mistakes, our Savior will still make sure the invitation is given to us.

I pray that as we enter into this week, we truly take time to reflect on the greatness of our Lord and all that’s available to you today because of His sacrifice for you.  It doesn’t matter how much you have fallen short, there is nothing too bad that you can keep you away from His presence.