Loving Father, I am so grateful You do not hold my forgiven past before me to accuse me, but Iam pardoned by Your grace.
Read LUKE 24:13-35
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1, NRSV).
There is a discernable parallel between the retreat from Jerusalem to Emmaus of the two walkers and the crisis of faith being experienced by many westerners today. This crisis is summed up in John Humphreys’ terse phrase: “In God we doubt.” But the parallel between the Emmaus travelers and post-modern nomads is also positive, for the analogy suggests that Jesus can renew faith in westerners and all people today.
Jesus can renew faith for three reasons. First, because he is a good listener. Before he speaks to the walkers he listens to their sense of disillusionment. Perhaps our problem today is that we suppress our doubts, too embarrassed to share them with Jesus. Yet surely the lament psalms encourage us to bring our complaints to God. Perhaps we need to recover the robust prayer language of the psalmists and their conviction that God invites us to share our doubt and pain with him. The second reason why the recovery of faith is possible is that Jesus comes to us as an honest friend. He tells us the situation as it is. See how he bluntly tells the two travelers they’re being thick-headed (25). He takes them to task for misreading the Scriptures. They are focusing on the prophecies of a triumphant Messiah and ignoring those that predict a suffering Servant. One of the contemporary inhibitors of faith today is dread of negativity. People seem to prefer a spirituality that affirms rather than challenges their prejudices.
Christian faith is renewable today, thirdly, because Jesus is the risen Lord. As we meet him in the Scriptures he ignites a fire in our hearts and he enters our lives.
Pray for a friend who finds it difficult to believe. How could you be a good listener and honest friend to them?
Lord, so often I can hardly wait for a person to stop talking so I can speak. Give me a sensitive spirit, a listening ear, and a wise response.