Hearts Burning Within Us
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
On Sunday, we kicked off our new “Voice of Hope” series – which concludes our ‘trilogy’ of series based on our identity statement (Jesus is central, so we aim to live by faith in him, be known by love like him, and be a voice of hope in the world). If ‘live by faith’ points to ‘what’ we do, and ‘known by love’ points to ‘how’ we do it,
‘voice of hope’ points to the ‘why’: why we do what we do the way we do it…because as we read in the Gospel of John, God so loved the world that he gave his Son, not to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
God has accomplished exactly what He meant to through Christ: sin is dealt with, the world is reconciled to God, Jesus is King, and Death is defeated…now what is left is for the world to hear this good news and receive it towards Life.
That’s where we come in.
As I said on Sunday, so much of our world is walking away from God, from faith, from the King, from where Life could be found…and as the Emmaus story shows us, our simple task is to follow Jesus in it: to come alongside a hopeless world in order to speak hope back to it.
Jesus does this for the two (ex)disciples as they walk away from him. He walks with them, digs deeper with them, and then he talks with them and opened the Scriptures to them. As they reflected on this ‘stranger’ doing this with them, they realized that their hearts were burning within then. Their hearts were on fire in their chests, beating loudly, pumping life-giving blood through them via the Life-giving Spirit.
This is what powers and empowers them to get up and run back to Jerusalem, to go and share this good news…to be a voice of hope…and so the movement of the church – Jesus’ movement – continues…
And so I’d like you to take a moment to reflect on this question: in your journey of faith, when has Jesus ‘ignited’ the fire in your heart?
What were you doing at the time when Jesus lit up your heart? How did you respond? How did you share your ‘burning heart’? Did you fan the flames? Extinguish it? Let it burn out slowly?
I’m asking you to reflect on these questions because what we need to be a ‘voice of hope’ in our world are hearts that are ablaze by Jesus and the Spirit. So think back on it, and pray that God would once again light up your heart like that.
I know that for so many people, God sets their hearts ablaze especially when they are intentionally serving Christ and his mission. When I look back on my life, that is when my heart is most clearly on fire. So for me, along with praying for this – the best way to have my heart ‘reignited’ is to intentionally serve Jesus in a new way. Maybe God is calling you to that in this season of life?
Think, reflect, and pray on that…and by all means, take a step along that pathway of following Jesus.
Because what this world needs is not hearts that are smoldering embers, but hearts that are freshly fueled and set ablaze. But the thing about smoldering embers is that it is usually not hard to reignite them.
Let’s pray for and work towards that…that God would reignite our “hearts burning within us” again.