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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Luke 24:28–35             

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 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. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. (NRSV)

Sometimes we know things before we know that we know them. “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road?” Intuition whispers to us, nudges us in a particular direction. Intuition is a way of knowing things! If these followers had not listened to their intuition, maybe they would not have urged Jesus so strongly to stay with them.

Knowing and unknowing are so intermixed in this story (and in our lives). First they don’t recognize Jesus, then they do. They see him, and then he vanishes from sight. It strikes me that things keep changing all the time, and the followers in this story are trying to respond to each new piece of information, each new thing that they know.

Why does Jesus disappear from their sight as soon as they recognize him? Is it that they have taken him inside themselves in the eating of the bread? Or that they have the opportunity to do so, now that he has broken and handed it to them? Have they taken him inside through the process of hearing his teaching and through the burning of their hearts as he taught?

Sometimes bread does open our eyes. Sitting at table, sharing a meal, sharing conversation—these things can all help us to know each other more clearly and to recognize the Holiness that sits with us in that sharing. If each one of us is created in the image of God, then can we find a way to see that image of God in each other and in the people with whom we break bread?

Gracious and loving God, I want to see you everywhere I look. Help me to see your image in those around me, those with whom I eat, and those I think are strangers to me. Amen.

Written by Nanette Sawyer, Minister for Congregational Life

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