Luke 24: 30-35 - When He (Jesus) was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" They got up and they returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and He has appeared to Simon." Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke the bread.
This event in the Bible still amazes me. How about you? It's right after the resurrection of Jesus and He starts making appearances to various disciples around Jerusalem. In this case, He comes along two people walking on the road. They're downcast; they're disappointed; they're heartbroken concerning what happened to their Savior and Friend on Good Friday, as He was crucified on the cross. Their sorrow was so all-encompassing that they couldn't -- or maybe wouldn't -- recognize Jesus, even as He came alongside of them.
Listen to what they said about His word: "Didn't our hearts burned within us as He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" That's a fire. That's a burning that you and I need in the midst of our struggles and griefs, too. When I thought about what fires us up, what burns us up, most of the things that do that for us, they eventually fade away. People are fired up at sporting events, cheering for their team, but that fades quickly, even if they win. People are fired up for their hobbies and leisure. But even burning in your heart for those things fades if there's not something more substantial in your life, above and beyond that. And of course there's all kind of fires burning in our hearts that are up to no good for us either.
So here's a thought for today: there are fires that burn things up, destroy; there are fires that motivate and give joy. Think of the fire that devours a forest or one that levels a house; it leaves nothing behind, or think of the fire at a campfire that draws you into its heat and glow and transforms the night from darkness to light, joy, and camaraderie. Pray today that you know the difference in your life between the fires that destroy (and I'm not talking about literal flames here; I'm talking about what burns in our hearts) -- pray that you know the difference such fires. But even more importantly, immerse yourself in the Words of Jesus, the Words of God, in the Scripture. It's a fire, it's a glow that will draw you close to His love and grace, and empower your life right through death itself.
Just listen to the ones who walked with the risen Savior on the road that day. God bless.
THE PRAYER: Please pray with me. Dear Lord Jesus, there are a lot of things in this world that fire us up for the moment. Give me and all listening in hearts that are fire up by You, Your Word, because that fire doesn't devour; it empowers, and it never, ever goes out. Bless us today with such a fired-up faith. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries