Movement Toward or Away?
Updated: Sep 19, 2021
The event happens. It is good... or hard. And emotions stir. We think, evaluate, consider, judge, and make choices. Often we fill in the gaps of knowledge based on our own ways of thinking about life and relationships and our past experiences. We make decisions to engage or withdraw.
One of the passages we will attend to at the Restoration Retreat on August 28th (Registration open until August 21) is the passage that records the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35.) The two disciples traveling away from Jerusalem and toward Emmaus had experienced the horror and the trauma of the crucifixion of Jesus, their teacher and the Messiah. This was not what they had hoped for as a follower of Jesus. They had heard reports of his resurrection, but they had not seen him yet. And in the aftermath of the trauma, the fear, and the confusion... they move away from Jerusalem.
How do we interpret difficult, or even traumatic experiences? How do we engage with God and look for meaning, guidance forward, and healing? What can we learn from the Biblical story, from how Jesus pursued, instructed, challenged, and cared for his disciples after the resurrection.
The disciples watched the violent execution of the One they hoped would redeem Israel, because of the fear and jealousy of their religious leaders. They experienced violence, betrayal by one of their own, the suicide of one of their own, the personal failures and fear that a season of sifting by the enemy bring. Jesus' resurrection is reported, but his body is missing. Can you imagine the disruption and chaos for the disciples?
Jesus pursues the disciples on the road to Emmaus. At first he just listens as a stranger, bearing witness to their experiences. But then he reveals God's purposes by explaining and interpreting the Scriptures. Finally, he reveals Himself.
What does it look like for us to allow Jesus to direct our understanding in the hard seasons. The crucifixion was a pivot point for all of time that would usher in beauty and redemption despite the violence and destruction evil sought to accomplish. God's purposes for our good and His glory would be accomplished. Restoration is more than just relief of our discomfort, it is movement into health and wholeness. Aligned with God, turning our face to Jesus - that is the beginning. Real restoration strengthens our soul, nourishes our hearts, and gives us a greater understanding of our King, and His kingdom.
Perhaps a retreat would serve your soul.
Grace Bible Church
Registration ends August 21