April 14, 2015: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Posted on : Apr 14th, 2015 | By | Category: Still Speaking

Now on that same day [Easter day] two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.                                                                                                         Luke 20: 13-16

As we journey through the season of Easter – the time in our lives when we are invited to really think about what resurrection means for us and our faith – I am reminded that “appearances can be deceiving.”

One of the great “Easter stories” is found in the Gospel of Luke. It’s the story about the Risen Christ appearing to the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Emmaus is a town mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. Luke reports that Jesus appeared, after his death and resurrection, before two of his disciples while they were walking on the road to Emmaus. Its geographical identification is not clear; several locations have been suggested throughout history. We only know that it was connected by a road with Jerusalem; the distance given by Luke varies in different manuscripts and the figure given has been made even more ambiguous by interpretations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmaus

So how about that! Jesus appears to the disciples but they don’t recognize him and they’re heading on a road to a place that no one can clearly identify. If you want to use that as “proof” of the resurrection, your documentation is pretty flimsy!

However, if Emmaus is the road back to our everyday life and it is there – in the everyday-ness of our lives – that we meet the Risen Christ, now you’re on to something!

The reason the Risen Christ is never “recognizable” in the Easter stories is because the resurrected Christ is no longer limited to the physical body of Jesus. It is spirit that appears to us in many different manifestations in our journey through life. Sometimes it is spirit that is experienced in “out of body” spiritual experiences. Sometimes it is spirit that is experienced through beauty, awe, art, music, nature, falling in love, being in love or through others.

Over the years, I never cease to be amazed by how many people actually have shared with me that they have had an “Emmaus Road” type of spiritual experience, but are afraid to tell anyone else about it because they’re afraid people will think they are delusional. Such revealing usually comes after I share with them one of the many “Emmaus Road” type of experiences I’ve had with the Risen Christ. I find the Risen Christ present all the time.

Appearances can be deceiving. Don’t be deceived by the forces of rationality or conformity. This Easter season I encourage you to be open to the spirit of the risen Christ appearing in your life. At first you may not recognize it as such, but if your heart burns with the love of God, and your eyes are opened to the loving spirit of the risen Christ, you’ll know that the risen Christ has appeared to you.




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