I wonder if sometimes we assume that by being in Church (or now watching our services online) we sometimes hear the Word in the music, message or prayers but fail to receive the teaching that is and should be happening. Teaching is vital to our faith journey! It is why we encourage you to be part of a small study group, a Sunday School class and/or our usual weekly Bible study. This week we will send something your way at 7 PM Wednesday. Here is the link!
On the original walk to Emmaus (the one from Luke 24:13-34) Jesus listens to Cleopas and his friend as He joins them walking to a town called Emmaus (about 20 miles west of Jerusalem). They are rambling about the events of the crucifixion, the things that happened to Jesus, the story of the women and the empty tomb and the "gossip" of what was happening in their midst. They might have been as disoriented as we are watching various news channels as our media report their particular perspective of the news without actually knowing (or caring) about the truth of what is happening. Here are some thoughts from this story ... thoughts that are VERY applicable to us in our current crisis.
The first thought is about our foolishness to follow our perspectives instead of pursuing the real truth. "You foolish people!" Jesus said. "You find it so hard to believe what the Prophets wrote in the Scriptures!" (Luke 24:25). I read last week that the beaches in South Walton should be opened because the people in the area need the sunlight to generate sun-activated vitamin D. I wondered if the sun was different at the beach that it was in every back yard in South Walton. I guess we will believe anything! I could share other ridiculous stories, but the story here is that Cleopas and his friend are listening to gossip and not sifting that gossip with the truth of God's Word. Teaching is important so that we have a standard of comparison to the waves of trash talk we find on every single "news" channel.
The second thought is the patience of Jesus as He recounts the teachings of the prophets and the Scriptures to people who claim to be disciples. Jesus talks and teaches in the midst of a world that has been turned on its head. I think about this as I share the weekly Bible studies and know that learning is the place we should all be. Freddie, John, Nicey and I have all agreed to be part of this teaching because teaching is important.
Finally, I see, in this little story, the end result of teaching and learning. When we learn ... when we are taught by credible people ... when we want truth (not opinion or perspective) ... our eyes are opened. In the story Jesus breaks the bread for their meal and it all clicks together for Cleopas and his friend. They see Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life.
In our crisis, allow yourself to be taught by the author of truth. Understand that your Facebook feed is filled with people trying to sell you on what will get your attention, get you angry, get you distracted and sometimes just give you gossip. Paul said, set your minds on the things above. Good advice for the times we are in! Randy