Truth, Fire, and the Road to Emmaus
This March teaching has held a higher level of anxiety and reflection than any other year. It has been 12 months since COVID-19 changed each of our lives. A year later, I find myself having adjusted somewhat to the new normal of masks, handwashing, and social distancing. It is time to teach the same topics as I did last March, including focusing on the same Bible stories as Easter approaches.
One of the stories that greatly resonated with me last year was the Road to Emmaus. My teaching partner suggested we teach it so we could talk about trusting God “in these uncertain times.” To my delight I was able to find ways to make this story relevant to seven-year-olds on an electronic platform during our new online e-learning time.
Each Lent I take time to read in detail the accounts of Holy Week. This year, however, I started with the Road to Emmaus, as this story had brought me hope and direction last year. This account is a great roadmap in learning how to trust Jesus more in every season of life. Just as the disciples needed to grow in this area, so do we, whether at the beginning, middle, or end of a pandemic and really, in all of our troubles of this world.
As the story reveals in Luke 24:13-35, trust is not something the disciples had that Sunday so many years ago. The Scripture said that their faces were “downcast” and that they “had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” Had hoped. Their hope was gone, dashed.
Jesus, not having indicated who He was yet, goes on to point out their lack of faith. “How foolish you are and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” Then “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” I cannot help but wonder if they had heard some of these things before but had merely forgotten. Perhaps some of these truths never actually took root in their hearts at all. They did not believe what the Scriptures said and as a result, their joy too was missing.
Once Jesus revealed himself to the disciples they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Not only was their hope restored, so was their energy and passion, such that they ran over two hours back to Jerusalem. As many of us have learned and relearned, spending time with Jesus is the best way to restore joy to our souls.
During different seasons of my life, I have found it extremely valuable to write out and frequently read what is true. My soul is strengthened when I read truths to myself that I find challenging to believe. A year ago, in response to this story, I had my students rate how easy or difficult it is for them to believe certain statements that are indeed true for all of God’s people, such as “God forgives all my sins.” or “God is with me all the time.” Reading their responses brought me joy and I accepted the opportunity to pray for their belief in God’s truth to grow in their hearts.
What truths do you need to remind yourself of today? How will you take time to be with Jesus and let His words build a fire in your soul? Just like the disciples, may your heart burn with a fire of joy, energy, passion, and renewed purpose to glorify Him this Easter season.
Christine Smith loves words: having stimulating conversations with people, reading a variety of books, and most recently, the words she writes. She is a teacher who is just beginning to write for audiences other than herself in her journal or her students’ parents. Christine lives in Langley, B.C. and enjoys coffee, being outside, and making memories with her husband and four kids.