After God gave me the two Easter articles I wondered what would come next. Easter would be over and we’d return to our daily lives. It wasn’t long before God shared with me the next message.
“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?” Luke 24:30-32
The message for me from God was it’s not necessarily in the pomp and circumstance of Easter we often have an encounter with God; we often encounter God in our daily lives when we are in our own little world doing our own little thing.
These two men had been watching all that was gone on. Their minds were swirling I am sure with all the events that happened in a short week. Their experiences probably started with the triumphant entry into the city to the arrest of Christ, the beatings and then the crucifixion of Christ on the cross. Then just as all hope was lost they heard about the resurrection and Christ walking away from the tomb. I am not sure their minds could grasp all of this. I am wondering how much of a personal encounter they were able to have with Christ during that week.
But here they were walking down the road to Emmaus with Christ; one on one. He was sharing scripture with them. What an event this must have been for them. In their very time of need; when their heart and mind was swirling with question and wonder Christ Himself shows up.
How many times have I sat in on Holy Week and my mind was swirling with all that is going on? How many times have I listened to the choir sing a great Easter anthem and I am amazed, how many times have I missed having an encounter with Christ because my mind was focused on the pomp and circumstance of Easter? Oh, it is good to have all of these services and to remember Holy Week and to be festive and celebrate on Easter morning, but I think our real encounter happens when we return to life and life happens.
I think of Moses. Moses had an encounter with God when Moses was tending to the flock in the field on an ordinary day doing his ordinary work.“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.” Exodus 3:1-2 Moses was doing what Moses was supposed to be doing and had an encounter with God.
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon at Ophrah while Gideon was threshing his wheat ( Judges 6 vss. 11-27). Once again Gideon is doing his work threshing wheat; he was living life on a very ordinary day when he had an encounter with God.
There are many examples of Christ coming to people in their ordinary days when they are doing their ordinary work. I am thinking about the man who sat at the pool waiting to be lifted in. He was doing what he did everyday sitting at the pool hoping to be healed and who should come along on this ordinary day? Christ came and he encountered him.
I love going away on retreats. The one thing I have noticed (unless it is the Silent Retreat) you can be so busy listening to great music, listening to great messages and visiting with great people that sometimes we don’t often encounter God on a personal level. Now don’t get me wrong, we do encounter God through others, through music and through the great messages, but often times it is not one on one with God. I really think I come back from a retreat with my mind swirling just like these men. I am so busy thinking about the message I heard, or the music I have learned, or the new friends I have met then Christ comes along and reminds me it is all about Him and having a personal encounter with Him.
I have to pause and think about those times I have had a personal encounter with God; most of the times it was when I was by myself experiencing life. I can remember lying on the couch with shingles and in pain and who should come along and share with me? Christ and I had an encounter that changed my journey. There have been many other times I have been doing my own thing and then it happens. Christ interrupts and there I am with Him. I can remember many years ago before coming to Texas showering and praying and who should I encounter in the shower? God came to me with an answer to the prayer I was praying.
“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?” Luke 24:28-32
Those times are special and often times we can feel our hearts burning. I know I have. Sometimes you just have to look up, smile and say, “thanks;” thanks to the one we have had an encounter with that changed our lives or changed our daily routine or made it special for even just a little while.
Yes Easter is over, but we can have and should have a personal encounter with God daily. God wants to walk with you right where you are while you are washing the dishes, or working on reports, or whatever it is you do. He has a message for you just like he did for these two men on the road to Emmaus. He wants to sit at your table and break bread with you.
Take time in your daily ordinary life to have an encounter with God Moses did, Gideon did, the man at the pool did and so did so many more. It just may change your life.
Dear God, never let me be so busy that I can’t take time to have an encounter with you. Let me be open to receiving the message you have for me. Never let me think my life is so ordinary that I can’t have an encounter with you. As I go about my work let me be aware of your Presence in my life. As I go about doing my the work I do every day as I live life remind me you are right next to me walking the journey with me. I may not be walking the road to Emmaus, but I am walking the road in life and you are walking it with me. Thank you for journeying with me. Amen.
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