January 31, 2019

Encounters of a Personal Kind

Luke 24:13-35

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

—  Luke 24:32

Have your ever met someone you haven’t seen in a long time and can’t remember their name? You begin a conversation with them, hoping your memory will kick in before they realize you can’t remember. The conversation can be awkward. If you have encountered the person in a place far from home or out of your usual context, it can be even harder to remember.

When the two followers of Jesus were walking home to Emmaus, they were not in a place where they would usually have encountered Jesus. In fact, as they were walking, they were talking about all the events that had just happened around Jesus’ crucifixion, and they were trying to make sense of it all. Then suddenly Jesus stepped into their conversation, and “they were kept from recognizing him.” They began to tell him the events of the past few days, and they invited him to dinner as they arrived at home. That’s when everything changed.

Jesus became the host and broke bread with them. He brought back to them a memory of what he had said and taught earlier. They had a personal encounter and an “Aha!” moment in which they realized they were sitting with Jesus!

How often have we begun a conversation, only to have Jesus show up? Remember that he shows up in unexpected places. Where have you met him today? Did you recognize him and listen to his words?

Dear Jesus, help us to recognize you each day as we walk down the road with you and when we break bread together. Amen.

About the author — Beth Fellinger

Pastor Beth Fellinger is a wife, mother, and grandmother who has more than 40 years of experience in pastoral ministry. She and her husband, Barry, have created a missional community in their neighborhood called the Ugly Couch Cafe. From serving coffee at a blue picnic table on their front lawn, to praying with neighbors, to hosting faith gatherings on a weekly basis, the Ugly Couch Cafe has grown—and nothing gives Beth greater joy than introducing people to Jesus.

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