A Road to God Knows Where…

Two weeks in with a brand new church and I already love every minute of it. Yesterday was something different for me – I think it was something different for everyone. Instead of showing up to church, putting a smile on for the greeting team (although, it’s hard not to put on a smile for Emmaus Life’s greeting team: Two little Lamb kids dancing and yelling, “More people! More people!” every time a car pulls up), and finding my usual seat in the pews, I got to share my story. It was really uncomfortable. But it was every bit of what I needed.

Everyone shared their story yesterday. After starting off with a couple worship songs, Scott talked about where he got the name for Emmaus Life. Throughout the last week, apparently, people were at a bit of a loss with the word “Emmaus.” And if I wasn’t such an avid reader of Near Emmaus – a blog devoted to the theological side of our journey with God – I probably wouldn’t have known about Emmaus, either.

It comes from Luke 24:13-32:

“That very day two of them (the disciples) were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

And he said to them, ‘What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?’ And they stood still, looking sad.

Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?’

And he said to them, ‘What things?’

And they said to him, ‘Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.’

And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’”

Scott then let us get some food and find a table. Once we were all seated, he asked us to share our “road to Emmaus” moment; the moment where we clearly felt the Lord’s presence on our hearts to stir us into a pursuit of Him. And so, person by person, we each shared our story with everyone at our tables.

It had been quite a while since I last talked about how I came to truly following God, so I imagine I was bouncing around quite a bit in the timeline of things. Even so, I shared about my upbringing – being removed from my mother’s custody, having my grandparents “adopt” me and my older brother (technically they became our permanent legal guardians, which I guess is different than adoption), and then getting baptized in the 8th grade. Right when I got to the part where things changed – that winter break of freshman year of college – I could feel the emotions begin to swell.

Talking about that moment when God truly caught my heart brought up the very same emotions I felt that night almost six years ago. I felt the pain of not having someone to call “dad,” I felt the shame for all the grudges I had held, and I felt the same overwhelming joy of knowing that God has been with me every single step of the way.

Ever since Calvary dissolved, I’ve been in a sort of spiritual desert. At times I could see where I was going, but not very clearly. After a while of walking around in the desert, you begin to believe you aren’t ever really getting out. What yesterday morning did for me, though, was remind me of God’s ever-constant presence. Sometimes when you don’t know where you’re going, you just need to remember why you started going there.

My “road to Emmaus” moment six years ago told me that God is my Father. It told me that every bit of purpose or meaning I have ever felt within myself in my entire life comes from Him and that in order to see it all fulfilled, I must follow His Son named Jesus. It’s a process. It’s a journey. It’s a road to God knows where. And that’s just it: God knows. That’s all the hope we need.

God bless.

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Jeremy

Cherokee / Whovian / Sherlockian / Aspiring Auror / Lover of Jesus, Scripture, and creativity / MATS Student at George Fox Seminary.

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