ODJ: In the Moment

April 10, 2018 

READ: Luke 24:13-53 

They worshipped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy (v.52).

As an educator, each spring I feel the promise of the summer holidays beckoning me. I appreciate the respite from the usual demand to complete projects, mark papers and participate in countless meetings. With more opportunities for quiet, summertime reminds me how often busyness can tempt me to see each commitment as merely a task to be checked off a list. Choosing to instead be present in the moment allows me to savour uncomplicated joy.

Time certainly marches on. And the simple truth of these words reminds us that life has seasons (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Interestingly, it seems typical of human nature to focus on the painful events of life instead of fully celebrating the joy of the moment. How often do we keep moments of joy at arm’s length, as if we’re holding our breath waiting for them to end?

From the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32) to a quiet room in Jerusalem (v.33) to the moment of Christ’s ascension (vv.50-52), Jesus’ followers must have experienced a myriad of emotions. For two disciples travelling after Jesus’ death, loss dominated their perspective; even the rumours of His victorious resurrection seemed a false hope soon to be disproven (vv.17-24).

But as Jesus began to share a meal with them, “suddenly their eyes were opened” and they recognised Him (v.31). And perhaps at the same time they finally understood that pain and suffering will come, but above and beyond the time frame of this earth, God’s perfect plan of salvation continues to unfold (vv.25-27).

Resilient joy comes as we experience through the Spirit God’s comforting presence. Instead of living in fear of loss, may we choose in every moment to savour each new encounter with His goodness.

—Regina Franklin

365-day plan: 2 Samuel 18:1-18

Read John 16:16-24 and consider why Jesus said the disciples would experience “wonderful joy”. 
What joyful thing in your life might the Spirit be compelling you to savour without fear of loss? How can an absence of joy in your life reveal a misguided source of hope?