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Hurting Hearts

Hurting Hearts

While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and began walking with
them, but they
were kept from recognizing him
Luke 24: 15, 16.

There is line, a very fine line, which once crossed can be fatal. It is the line between disappointment and anger, between hurt and hate, between bitterness and blame. If we are near that line, we must we warned, we must be urged, do not cross it! Instead, step back and ask this question: "How long am I going go on paying for my disappointment? How long am I going to go on nursing my hurt?"

At some point we have to move on, at some point we have to allow ourselves to heal. At some point we have to let Jesus do for us what He did for the men He joined and accompanied on the road to Emmaus.

Know what He did? First of all, He came to them. "And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near and went with them" Luke 24: 15. He did not sit back and cross his arms and say, "Why can't those two get with the program?" He did not complain to the angel and say, "Why won't they believe the empty tomb? Why are they so hard to please? Why are they so obdurate and obstinate in recognizing reality?"

What did He do? He saw their eagerness to believe, their readiness to understand, their impulse to grasp and know and attempt perceiving. He met them at their point of pain. He encounters them when they wish to advance. Though death has been destroyed and sin annulled, He is not retired. His work of salvation is still not over. His vocation still has to be fulfilled individually with each of us needy and desperate souls.

The triumphantly risen Lord has once again wrapped himself in human flesh, put on human clothing and searched out human hurting hearts. He patiently interacts with them until they are convinced it is the risen Lord who is their companion, traveling with them in this life, even if for a short distance to the nearby town of Emmaus. He later appears to the disciples in a room with locked doors. Now Jesus exercises a wider freedom within his creation than He previously displayed. His early miracles demonstrate his mastery within creation; his post-Resurrection miracles demonstrate mastery over creation.

So we ourselves witness our Lord did not transform this period following the Resurrection, even beyond that, following the Descent of the Holy Spirit into a place where the touching, healing hand of our God is passe and no longer needed. Now He simply highlights the miraculous possibilities related to his own sovereignty and that of the Eternal Father because of the grace of the Holy Spirit. To those who insist on a predictable existence our Lord still says, "Whatever is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God" Luke 18: 27. It is a quiet night in the springtime of the year and two men walk the Emmaus road, saddened by their master's death, bowed down beneath their load, when full of questions about the very nature of faith and existence, when suddenly another overtakes them as they walk. It appears He comes out of nowhere. A stranger falls in step with them and earnestly they continue to talk, of what weighs so heavily on their hearts and what overwhelms even the power of their soul. They are moved by a warm soul-stirring glow and when they reach Emmaus they are loathe to let him go so they invite him to stay awhile and share their simple board in an inn.

They speak sincerely with him. With seriousness, they invite him, "Stay with us ... So he went in to stay with them" Luke 24: 29. And as He prays and breaks the bread ... they know. They know finally it is the Lord. "They had come to know him in the breaking of the bread" Luke 24: 35. So we see, if we invite the Lord to stay with us, to accompany us in our lives, to be with us, to remain among us, as our customary greeting teaches, He will positively respond and perceive our sincerity of heart.

How we pray tonight and each night and day that the Lord over take us on the path of life. Along our way of sorrow may his radiant light be shown. May He come to warm the heart and ease the heavy load and walk with us as long ago, He walked the Emmaus road.

At this service of exaltation of our God, at this service of healing, we take the road, even the lonely road, courageous, unafraid; fired for the journey when the twilight shadows fade so that our God whose love always fills our lives can come and match our faith response with everlasting and embracing love. Will our God fail us or forget the covenant He has made with those who trust and love him?

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