On the heals of Easter, it’s tempting to move on to what’s next. Stuff such as Spring cleaning, Mother’s Day, graduation prep, etc can require our attention so much that Easter could quickly be forgotten. But let’s keep in mind that after Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to folk unexpectedly. And maybe it was difficult to recognize Jesus because there was lots of emotional intensity that made recognition more difficult. Here are a few emotions that maybe cause us to struggle to recognize Jesus:
fear: the disciples huddled together in fear after Jesus’ death. Jesus appeared to them despite their fear
grief: maybe it was difficult for Mary Magdalene to recognize Jesus in the Garden after His resurrection because grief was so overwhelming. Jesus appeared to her, nonetheless
uncertainty: on the road to Emmaus, some of Jesus followers were trying to figure out what had just happened after His crucifixion and “disappearance.” Jesus walked with them on their journey and helped them understand what just happened
doubt: Thomas was missing when Jesus made His first appearance to the disciples after His resurrection. Jesus came back to untangle Thomas’ doubt.
Let’s keep looking for Jesus because we can find and experience Him everyday because He’s alive!
“Please keep talking.” I popped into Walmart last week for a quick errand after dropping off my son for school & the register chick said this to me. I sheepishly looked at her because I was wearing my hoodie & sweats, not the hair & makeup routine for tv. I could tell she recognized my voice & was trying to match the visual image to my voice. With chagrin I said, “You probably know me from tv with my mom, Marilyn Hickey.”
I love what she said, “I knew your voice immediately but I didn’t expect to see you in my register lane.”
I’ve thought about this for several days because I think this lesson applies to us recognizing Jesus’ voice regardless of our location or expectations. We expect to hear Jesus when we read our Bible or go to church. But let’s also listen for Jesus throughout this day 🙂
Before there were planes, trains & automobiles, people used camels, donkeys & the sandal express to resolve their transportation needs. So once upon a time there were a couple of guys walking from one town to another and a random stranger joined their pedestrian ambulation. There ensued a heated conversation about the current events of that time: something about a very magnetic man getting brutally murdered by the key religious leaders of the region & supposedy this murdered but magnetic guy had risen from the dead, according to the rumor on the street. The stranger seemed unaware of these current events, but somehow started a religious conversation that caused a holy heart burn in these fellow travellers. Long story short, these guys came to understand after Jesus disappeared that He was talking with them along their journey, even though they didn’t recognize Him. Luke 24
Just because we know about Jesus doesn’t mean that we always recognize Him in the events or journey of our daily living. I think that part of our Path to Pentecost is letting the Holy Spirit help us recognize Jesus better in our day to day existence.
This morning, I read in Luke 24 about how a few of Jesus’ followers didn’t recognize Him as He was walking on the road to Emmaus with them. For awhile, they didn’t recognize Jesus, but once Jesus broke bread with them at a meal, they recognized Jesus for Who He was & they exclaimed, “Were not our hearts burning within us as He explained the Scriptures?!” Sometimes I don’t think we recognize Jesus’ daily presence with us. Consider the following:
A conversation with a friend & she says something that completely speaks to a need that you’ve been praying about – Jesus’ presence with answers
An unexpected delay that gives some extra time for breathing & even praying – Jesus’ provision for time
A person reaches out to you with some love and encouragement, without any expected reciprocity nor agenda – Jesus’ love relationship with you
Waking up in the middle of the night with the desire to pray – keeping company with Jesus
Someone invites you to serve, volunteer or lead – Jesus’ opportunity to grow and explore new terrain with Him
What are some more ways that we can recognize Jesus in our daily living? 🙂
The other day I read Mark 16:12, “After that, He appeared to them in a different from, to two of them while they were talking along their way to the country.” This verse is after Jesus was resurrected & it was really powerful to me for lots of different reasons. I think that many times we think of Jesus with certain expectations, often laced with religious overtones. In my life, however, I’ve seen & experienced Jesus in many different forms & not only with my normal expectations. Recently, I was in Cambodia with Saving Moses and our nightcare work. We had visited a really bad slum & I was very overwhelmed from this visit. When I mentioned my struggle with the slum to a friend, she encouraged me by saying, “The slum is exactly the type of place that Jesus would go to.” This reminded me of the verse where Jesus says, “If you do this to the least of these, you do this to Me” pertaining to how we treat the poor, prisoners, etc.
So my take away is this – in our lives, Jesus shows up in many different forms in our lives, so let’s keep our eyes peeled on how we can best serve Jesus! 🙂
I just had a really cool experience – a friend noticed that the tires on my car looked low, like they needed some air. Now the deal is that I can be semi-car savy. However, lately I haven’t had very much time to be mindful of car maintainence. Furthermore, we are leaving Thurs to go to Cambodia & getting to do some AMAZING work with Saving Moses & nightcare. So when my friend said he would help w the air pressure thing, I was blown away – totally. As he was saying that he would help me, I felt the Holy Spirit remind me that love is kind & this is a very tangible expression of genuine love. I became stunned to recognize that God was immediately expressing love to me through the kind & practical help with the air pressure in my tires.
This is all to say that the many big & small expressions of kindness to & through us throughout any given day could be dry meaningful expressions of God’s love to & through us, if we’ll keep our eyes & ears dialed into God’s voice, hand & ways. Be mindful that God genuinely loves you 😀
Rescue me, with your loving charms . . . . can’t you see that I’m lonely! Ok, singing & blogging don’t go together very well & you’re wondering what on earth is going on?!?!
I was being a little cheeky with the last part of the Lord’s Prayer – deliver us from the evil one. At the end of everything Jesus teaches us to pray, in the Lord’s Prayer, He says that we should ask our Father to deliver us from the evil one. This petition comes after we establish God’s position in our life as our Father, Hallowed One, King, Master, Provider, Forgiver & Leader. God is also our deliverer & He does and will deliver us from the evil one – the Devil. I think the Devil’s fundamental job description is found in John 10:10 – the theif comes to steal, kill & destroy. Thankfully, Jesus tells us that not only is our Father able to deliver us from the Devil’s efforts, but that we should actively make this request to our heavenly Father.
Bottom line – evil exists in the world & its origin is with the Devil. Our job is to resist him, run to our heavenly Father & ask Him to deliver us from the Devil’s efforts in our life. Pretty straight forward.
I pray that God would help you to recognize the Devil & his efforts in your life so that whatever he may try with you, would be thoroughly disabled & confused by your heavenly Father, as you pray for His deliverence.