“As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” Luke 24:28-30
In this account of Jesus following the resurrection, Jesus travels alongside some followers on the Emmaus Road. The events of the crucifixion are still fresh with everyone in the area of Jerusalem, there is fear, and there is wonderment at reports of the resurrection. The past few days have been emotionally exhausting, the news that Jesus had risen is starting to emerge, but the realities and the cruelty of the crucifixion are well known in the culture at this time. So the travelers continue their journey, and it is getting late. They invite Jesus to stay with them. It is the end of the day. It had been a long day. It was time to eat, and it was time to rest. There would surely be more to do tomorrow. For tonight, the body and soul needed rest. And in that rest, Jesus fed them.
This account reminds us all that each day needs to have a time to wind down. Many things call to us throughout a day. There are phone calls, emails, texts messages, and conversations. If we are not careful we can truly go all day long without a chance to rest. And so, gentle reader, I offer you this picture. I took it as the sun began to set closing out Tuesday. I was winding down. But not before I took a moment to simply watch the evening colors fill the sky. A chance to appreciate what God had given me today, what God had taught me today, and what God would call me to do on Wednesday. But as the shadows became longer, God also reminded me to slow down and rest. To turn off the computer (after I finish this of course) to lay my phone aside, and to quietly read my evening devotions.
No matter what time you are reading this, take time to rest. Take time to wind down. Take time to include yourself in care as you care for others. These days seem busy and we can really run ourselves empty. Jesus stayed with some followers because the day was coming to an end and he could find rest and fellowship in the calm of the evening. Their chance encounter, their time of rest, changed their lives forever. They met the risen Christ. We can come into Christ’s presence as well. Let’s make the time to renew ourselves each day. Let’s rest and renew with our Savior.
PRAYER: Lord we are busy! Lord so much calls to us. Lord there is so much left undone! Lord grant us your peace. Lord grant us holy rest! Today we pray for sacred space to simply come into your presence and experience your peace. Thank you Jesus for hearing our prayers. May we find our rest in You! Amen.