March 06, 2015

Hearts Burning

Luke 24:28-32

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

—  Luke 24:32

Discipleship is more than knowing who Jesus is and obeying his commands. It involves our emotions too. Take our two friends traveling on the road with Jesus. When they arrive at their home, they ask him to come in and have dinner with them. Still, they have not recognized him. Then a strange thing happens. Did you notice?

A dinner guest doesn't usually act as the host. But that's what Jesus does. He serves the bread and gives thanks. As a minister, I'm often asked to give thanks at dinners with friends and family, which I gladly do. But it would be presumptuous to take over as host. Jesus, however, is unique. He's our provider.

After Jesus serves the bread and offers thanks, the others finally recognize him. All the joy, enthusiasm, and excitement they have experienced with Jesus in the past come flooding back. Then suddenly Jesus disappears. So immediately they return to Jerusalem to share their news. They realize their hearts have been burning again, and the others have to know!

That fire in their hearts has ­never gone out. It has spread from believer to unbeliever as more and more have heard the good news that Jesus died to pay for our sins and rose from the dead to give us new life.

During this Lenten season let's learn how spiritual disciplines can fan the flames in our burning hearts too.

Spirit of the living God, set our hearts on fire today. Renew our faith and feed our souls as we practice the life of discipleship. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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