By Robert Halsey Pine
“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. “ (Luke 24:13-35 NRSV).
These two disciples on the road to Emmaus walked with Jesus, talked about Jesus with Jesus, and only when Jesus blessed and broke the bread at dinner that evening, did they recognize Him. The expression, “can’t see the forest for the trees,” would certainly apply here. We must be very alert in the spirit, so that we can recognize Jesus when He comes near to us on our journey.
Just as Jesus “vanished” from the sight of these, we have few and brief moments with our Lord in our lives. Preparing ourselves so that we will recognize Him on our road to Emmaus is the key. It gets back to daily prayer and meditation and being in community with others to talk about Jesus.
It’s like priming a well pump. The more we discuss Jesus, the closer we get to a drink from His well of life. When we leave Him out of our daily discourse, our pump won’t prime.
I remember many years ago when I had an opportunity to attend a spiritual renewal weekend. As I was told about some of the commitments that I would have to make after the weekend experience, I was shocked to hear that I was expected to meet weekly for one hour with others who had been through the same renewal experience. I thought, “Who’s got time for that? I have enough to do as it is.” Time in Christ changes everything.
Today, I’m busy in retirement serving in my community. I’m involved at church; I meet with my St. Andrew Brotherhood group for an hour every two weeks. I’m involved in several outreach ministries and I take 15 to 20 minutes each day to read and meditate on scripture. I also spend a couple of hours a week writing devotionals. And guess what? I still have spare time. Twenty-five years ago, I was reluctant to give up an hour a week. Even today, I’m a slacker compared to many.
Christ can be in everything that we do if we keep talking and thinking about Him. All that we do will be done better with Christ as our companion. If we commit to it, maybe we’ll recognize Him before he actually breaks and blesses the bread and hands it to us.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.