Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 3 - All Things New

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.
He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”  
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
“What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
“Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus unfolded to them the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
 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!
 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”
Luke 24:13-34

In three days, all that these followers of Jesus had put their hopes in had crumbled.  They knew that everything had changed forever; what they didn’t know yet was that everything was still changing. Jesus was making “all things new,” just as He had said.

Change is hard. It can be disorienting and painful. Sometimes it can seem like God has gone into hiding. But our inability to see God does not lessen the reality of His presence.
Scripture says that “Jesus himself” met these friends on the road to walk with them. Not an angel or a messenger; it was the Jesus they knew, but in disguise. Why would He keep Himself from them, knowing that His friends were hurting and confused?
It is one moment in our journey of faith to discover that God trusts us to come into His presence; it is another moment farther along the journey when we discover that God also trusts us in His “absence.” Though God is never truly absent, He may hide Himself for a time to let us examine our faith.
Deepest change as a follower of Jesus often happens when we discover that suddenly nothing is the same, and God is not telling us exactly what to do. During these times, He is believing in us to continue to follow Him, to keep trusting Him. He is not separating us from Himself; He is separating us from an old way of seeing so that we can experience Him in a brand new way.
Sometimes we forget that we are included in “all things” that are being made new. Change is part of the journey, but God is transforming us into people with hearts that burn for His Good News.

The Real Question: What is God making new in me right now? How is He changing my vision of Him and of the world?
Family Talk:  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 
ONE in Prayer: Jesus, I want to be made new by You, but I usually don’t want the change that comes with it. Help me to trust You and receive the new vision You have for me. Amen.

God is constantly changing and growing me. I had to learn to trust Him when it didn’t seem like I could take the next breath. It is easy to look to others to gain acceptance, affirmation, love and security, but really I’m learning that I need to seek these things in God before ever allowing myself to find them in someone else. I am His work in progress from the inside out, and find myself lately with this overwhelming desire to know Him on a level different than I ever have before. There is a “deepness” to God that I think I have always been afraid to seek because I never felt that I was good enough to be allowed there.  Now I feel like something won’t be complete in me unless I find that place where He is and meet Him there.  
- Tracie

No comments:

Post a Comment