Sunday, March 02, 2008
Lord, Don't Go!
I choked up a bit in church today.
That happens to me from time to time, but it's not because of what's going on around me. It's usually from something that grabs me in Scripture while I am reading it waiting for the service to commence. Today, it was the account in Scripture about Jesus meeting the travelers on the road to Emmaus. Read it with me below, and I'll tell you what got to me . . .
And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. “But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also 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 exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them. When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us (Luke 24:13-32).
Now, I don't know about you, but what got me about this today wasn't the aspect of Jesus being in their midst, or explaining the Scriptures to them, or their hearts burning about it. What got to me was that "He vanished from their sight." I found myself imagining if I had been there, I would have cried out, "Lord, don't go! Please, don't go!" It would have been hard on me to lose the Lord's immediate physical presence. Yes, He has promised to be with us always, and we have the Comforter, the indwelling Holy Spirit. But in my humanity, I often find myself wanting a visible, warm body to talk to. Do you ever feel like that?
How wonderful it will be in Heaven. Never to be away from His presence again. Wow.