Aug 282020
A Beautiful Place to Walk

I’ve never really liked the story from the Bible about the two guys on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24) Something about it just didn’t seem right. These guys were disciples, Jesus comes along and walks with them, and they don’t even recognize him. It makes them sound clueless. Dumb. Like not sincere followers. If you read the story carefully though, you will notice it really wasn’t their fault. The Bible says that their eyes were kept from recognizing him. So was Jesus playing a joke on them?  That doesn’t sound right either. These are the reasons I never liked this story, until this morning. 

This morning, it was different. As I read through the story again, I gained a new perspective on the blessing Jesus shared with these guys. He wasn’t playing a joke on them.  He was blessing them. They were kept from seeing him as Jesus. But why? 

Imagine two walks, the one they had, and the one they would have had if they had recognized Jesus from the start. If they had recognized Jesus when they met him on the road, they would have been in awe. They would have worshipped him. They would have feared his power and praised his greatness. It would have been wonderful for sure, but it would not have been at all like the walk they had. What if Jesus wanted something different? 

Imagine the walk they had. Three guys met on the road and walked along together talking about their experiences. The new guy taught them about the scripture in a new way. They listened, they discussed, they questioned and contemplated together. No one felt on edge, on their guard, off balance or unworthy. They were just three guys walking and talking together as friends, discussing the recent events and the history of their faith.  Perhaps that is exactly what Jesus wanted.  

After all the events he had just been through, a quiet walk and talk without all the hype was the way Jesus chose to relate those events to his disciples.  He was Lord and Master choosing to relate to them as equals. As friends. And because he kept their eyes from seeing him in all his lordly glory, they experienced him as friend and confidant.

I wonder, could it be this very story that provides a hint as to why God doesn’t make himself more visible? Why does God not powerfully show himself to the world and prove he exists? Maybe, possibly, could it be that the unapproachable blinding holy light of his glory would keep us from seeing the close companionship of a loving friend and father?

Oct 252013

Most of my life, I have had pet fish.  They are not typically affectionate pets.  You can’t get them to fetch a ball or come when you whistle. You can’t teach them to roll over and play dead.  (Although the really expensive ones are pretty good at doing it for real.) I did have one big fish named “Jack” who learned to beg for food.  But you really can’t get them to do much of anything they don’t want to do.  Come to think of it, fish are really about the same thing as a wet cat.

So, given all their shortcomings, why would anyone want to keep a fish as a pet?  I am not sure why anyone would, but I think I know one reason why I like to, and it doesn’t sound good.  For me, keeping fish for pets is a little like playing god.   Or maybe it’s a little like playing what we think of as god.  We buy the aquarium, rocks, plants, filters . . .  add a flourecent hood and say “let there be light.”  We create a nice, self contained world, then drop in the fish, sit back, and watch what happens. I think some people’s impression of God might be very similar.

Honestly, I suppose there may be a few similarities between my fish world and the real world. There is more involved than just sitting back and watching the fish. I do care for them. But what interest I have in my fish could never really compare to what God feels for us. God is so infinitely more involved in our lives than I am with my fish. No matter how much I like my fish, I would never love them enough to even consider making myself a guppy and jumping in the tank.