A Couple Thoughts On The Emmaus Awaking This past Sunday was a grand time. We celebrated the ministries and the people who power them in a wonderful time of worship. We enjoyed cake and ice cream in holy believer fellowship. I had the privilege of preaching out of Luke 24, and the miracle of the Emmaus road awaking. I then went down to Syracuse to District assembly, to witness an ordination service, brought to a climax in an inspiring message by Dr. David Graves on the Emmaus road awaking. A big theological question scholars have wrestled with of the past couple millennium is: “why didn’t the two disciples recognize Jesus?” The greatest event in human history had just taken place and here they are walking home, eyes downcast, shoulders slumped, defeated and depressed. Jesus is in their midst, and the Bible tells us, “they were kept from recognizing him.” Is that really that simple, that they couldn’t help it? It wasn’t their fault? Were they really ordained from knowing who was with them until the proper time? Or could there be more to the story. Perhaps I can shed further light on the story by sharing a bit of my story. Several years ago in a land half way across the country, I was traveling my own path of slumped shoulders, defeated attitude, and a depressed spirit. I felt that God had called me into this ministry only to leave me alone, stranded and fending for myself. Jesus had promised victory, but I only felt defeat. Things weren’t supposed to be like this was my self pitying cry. I felt alone. I felt trapped. I was ready to give up. I was looking for Jesus, but I couldn’t SEE Him anywhere. Why? Eventually I discovered that I suffered from the same spiritual blindness that those two disciples suffered from. Perhaps someone reading this today might be suffering from…being too focused on disappointments and problems. You see, they were so focused on Jesus being dead that they missed THE FACT that He was now alive! Then to make matters worse, they were going in the wrong direction…away for the body of believers in Jerusalem with whom they could draw strength, share concerns, and rejoice with in the realized truth that Jesus was who He said He was…ruler over life and death and everything in-between! All those years ago I was suffering from what Cleopas and his friend were suffering from. I was so focused on my disappointments that I failed to see Jesus was always right there with me. He was with me, but I failed to let Him help. So I withdrew to a solitary place. Away from Cindy, away my kids, away the fellowship of believers. I would attend assembly, not with the joy and the felt presence of God, but in hast, in frustration, without peace, just wanting it to end. I learned a hard lesson that says we are likely to miss Jesus and withdraw from the strength found in other believers when we become focused on ourselves, on our own troubles, on our deep disappointments. I have learned that only when we are looking for Jesus in our midst will we experience the power and help He can bring and the help we so desperately need. One final thing, though Jesus is always with us, he can be of little help until we take action, until we take responsibility for our own condition…and reach out to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Perhaps you will prayerfully read the words of this song:
He is here, hallelujah. He is here, amen. He is here, holy, holy. I will bless His name again. He is here, listen closely. Hear Him calling out your name. He is here, you can touch Him. You will never be the same.
He is here, Just for you today…isn’t that good news?