Navigation #6

Unusual Encounters

Throughout our life’s journey, we’re bound to encounter some interesting characters along the way.

This encounter along the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) was certainly an unusual one. We can picture the conversation taking place between Cleopas and Jesus: Imagine this long, dusty, rocky, and windy road, a place where the sun is hot, the ground shimmers and the dust rarely settles.

As these people are going about their business, this unrecognizable person approaches and asks: “Hey guys, what are you two talking about?”

Christ is real. Christ has in fact risen.Cleopas responds, “Man, have you not heard what’s been going on? What have you been doing, hiding behind a stone for three days?”

To which Jesus then responds, “Kind of.”

All kidding aside, we have to believe that this was quite a moment in the life of Cleopas and the other unnamed person. To hear the stories they had been hearing, and learning all that everyone had been teaching and preaching about the ministry of Christ, the crucifixion of Christ, and the resurrection of Christ—it was a lot for someone to have on their mind. This would be true for us in this day and age, but it rang especially true for people in the early first couple of centuries.

This particular encounter highlights why we should be aware of our surroundings and who exactly might be in our midst.

We should try our hardest and always put forth effort in every single encounter we ever have, whether it is unusual, expected or even habitual. Everyone deserves our best efforts no matter who they are.

We never know who we will meet, who we will entertain or who will cross our paths, so we should always be on our “best behavior” every moment of every day.

That’s what it means to be on this journey of life and this road to full-fledged discipleship as followers of Christ.

Some of us have great ears for Christ. We can hear God, follow God’s voice and know where God is calling us or where, how and why God has spoken to us. For others, maybe we have a heart for God and care for those who need our assistance. Still others have prayerful minds and always pray for and with other people, seeking hope, healing and happiness. Certainly, some of us have eyes that are better attuned to see and find those who need help, to see God in everyone we meet or to simply see God in general.

But rarely, and I do mean rarely, does someone have Christ so embedded in their body that it permeates the marrow of their bones—those hard, white objects that bring life to our bodies and give us the gift of movement. Without Christ, we would not be able to move anywhere. We would perpetually remain stuck in the quagmire of mediocrity and self-centeredness.

It is critical that we embody and strive to be all that God and Christ has taught us and called us to be throughout every inch of our bodies–throughout our eyes, ears, mouths, hearts and particularly down in the marrow of our own bones. When Christ resides there, it’s simply a matter of our very nature, and the more we practice it the stronger and better we become.

To be a Christian doesn’t mean we always have the right answers. It doesn’t mean that we always know where exactly to find Jesus or where to tell other people to find Him. We do, however, have a certain feeling, deep within the marrow of our bones that Christ is real.

Christ has in fact risen, and we have a special obligation to make this world better, one day at a time, one person at a time and one unusual encounter at a time.

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