“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him…” – Luke 24:31
The summary goes like this: Two of Jesus’ followers were walking home, despondent, a couple of days after the crucifixion. They had heard that the tomb might be empty, but that really didn’t change anything. Jesus joins them on the road, incognito, and the Master engages the friends in conversation; they talk about everything that’s been happening. The “stranger” joins the dots for them from the scriptures – but they still have no idea it’s him. When the two friends arrive home they invite their companion to join them for dinner. Luke describes what happens next like this: “[Jesus] took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” In that moment, the friends recognized their Lord, and he disappeared. – Luke 24:13-33
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? My men’s group enjoyed a wide-ranging conversation, positive and challenging, but it kept circling back to our clarity of vision, or how we recognize Jesus today.
One man said we’re just too busy to fine-tune our spiritual intuition in the day-to-day, “Or at least we believe that we are,” he confessed. Someone else pointed out that most of the things that distract us from paying attention to God, the things that seem so critically important at the time, turn out to be insignificant when we look back. “Why do I allow things that are so trivial keep me from what is important?”
Without exception, every man in the room observed that it’s not huge emergencies, or catastrophes, or circumstances beyond our control…, but “the small stuff” that typically accounts for our ongoing spiritual disconnect.
In thinking about that truth, it necessarily follows that long-term, sustainable, spiritual growth is more closely related to small routine steps than it is to over-the-top events. In other words, we could go to a revival and get knocked off our feet by the Spirit (and we could do that several times)… but if we want to experience real transformation then we need to pay attention to the day-by-day, to morning prayer and devotion, to opening ourselves to the presence of God moment-by moment, to a faithful routine of worship, to commitment when it comes to our small group or Bible-study – to walking the road to Emmaus.
God doesn’t want the occasional weekend rendezvous, or dinner and a movie every once in a while, followed by flowers and a box of chocolates; God wants to move in, God wants to have breakfast together every day, to hang out, to go for long walks, to sip coffee, to sit by the fire; God wants us to introduce him to our friends, to be invited to the office, to be part of the conversation in our social life, to help make financial decisions.
This is the kind of insight that always happens when we meet together as disciples, supporting and encouraging one-another in our day-to-day walk as people of faith.
Jesus was with us, right there at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” – Luke 24:32
Always grateful – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.