Saturday, January 7, 2017


Encounters with Jesus are important.  But, the Christian life ought not be understood as going from one encounter to another.  An encounter with Jesus often serves as a catalyst for beginning the life of faith, but the word "relationship" speaks of our ongoing life with Christ.  To think of the Christian walk going from one encounter to another somehow misses the mark.  The danger is that we are likely to become an experience seeker and not a disciple who grows into a mature faith in Christ.  We are not called to be fed in our souls by the thrill of the encounters, but by the abiding presence of Jesus in our hearts.
Perhaps, those resurrection afternoon walkers to Emmaus best illustrate the point.  They were no strangers to discipleship.  Somewhere along the way of their lives they had been with Jesus and decided that He was indeed the One sent from God.  Though filled with confusion about the events of that day and the talk that was a part of it, they were men who had said, "yes" to Jesus.  On the Emmaus Road Jesus came and started walking with them, but they were too busy with the stuff of the day to recognize who He was.  As the day was coming to an end around the table, a meal was prepared, Jesus took the bread, and they suddenly realized who it was that had been walking with them all day. 

Their day was like our walk with Jesus.  We see ourselves as belonging to Him, but we can go through a day without really being aware of how He is with us.  We are not out of relationship; we are just not attentive to it.  Unfortunately, such is characteristically human.  And, then something happens and in an instant, we like those Emmaus walkers, know the reality of Jesus with us.  The encounter sharpens our awareness of the relationship we have with Him.  It makes us aware of it and even though we are careless, we remain in that relationship.  Encounters are not separate from the abiding we experience with Christ, but a part of it.

No comments: