Sensing Jesus: 30 March 2015

Pontormo paint the “Supper at Emmaus” around 1527. The realism created by the inclusion of portraits of people living at the time and participating in the event, and the large naked feet of the disciples in the lower part of the painting, where the heads of cats can be seen, their inquisitive gazes directed towards the onlooker, draws the viewer into the scene. A crouching puppy can just be seen in the lower left corner of the painting. The eye of God, painted above Christ’s head, is a later addition.

Luke 24 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 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?’

Psalm 103 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits –
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Emotion is not the evidence that a religion is true, but emotion is always the by-product of true religion. Why? Everything which impacts our lives at the deepest level of our souls cannot help but elicit our deepest, most profound feelings.

"Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us?" confessed these two on the road to Emmaus. Yes, they "felt" the presence of Jesus. Why wouldn’t they? They were there . . . with Jesus. How could they not help but experience emotion? Emotions like the outpouring of godly sorrow when you realised how much it required for Jesus to save you? And then in moments of quiet reflection when you were overwhelmed with the greatness of the Son of God? Or when joy in wild exuberance washes over you like a mighty river? Was this joy not completely uncontrollable?

Then you feel like these two felt on the road to Emmaus. Your heart burned within you as you felt the presence of Jesus.

It still burns within you, does it not, when you feel his nearness.

Lord, may I never be passive in your presence. May your nearness always excite me. May songs and praises be the response when I feel your nearness. In this week of Easter, may I see your wounds, touch your face, sense your power . . . and feel my worship.