A Heart That Burns

Burn | to contain a fire; to be hot; to give off light: shine, glow.

In Luke chapter twenty-four, on the first day of the week, early in the morning, some women set out for the tomb that held their Beloved. But when they arrived, they were astonished and afraid to see that the stone had been rolled away – and the body of the risen Son of God no longer there. Just as He said, it would be.

Later, two of the disciples were walking on a road named Emmaus. They were discussing all that had happened when Jesus appeared to them. However, they were kept from recognizing him. As Jesus talked with them, they grew increasingly taken by Him.

[And] “When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.  And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’ And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.” –Luke 24:30-35

The heart of advent.

One of the reasons I adore this time of year (known in the Christian liturgical calendar as Advent) is because it’s as if the whole world takes a holy pause together to breathe in the joyous celebration that echoes from creation to Christmas carols. Regardless of the state of your faith, the place of your purpose, or the weight of your offering, the Light can’t help but break through and beckon the heart postured for the undeniable love of God.

The God who is with us ~ is coming for us ~ no matter the night or the daylight.

The God who stays in the room with us, tenderly scooting us closer to the Door when the only thing we can see is the ground beneath us.

The God who indeed smiles over all the twinkling lights dancing from house to house, knowing all the while that our hearts are really searching for home in the light of His glory and grace.

A prayer for when we can’t see the light.

Father God, it was the final chapter of the greatest Story ever told. A chapter that You promised would come. A chapter that they hoped would come.

But when it was time for that sealed page to finally be turned, they weren’t ready. They were stuck in their humanness … the fear, disappointment, confusion, guilt, loss, and grief.

All of it. And it nearly kept them from seeing the Story unfold to the glorious End.

But God.

Four times in just one chapter, You show up to Your most devoted followers. Because sometimes the ones who love the hardest are most at risk of missing the ease of Your love.

You, the good Shepherd, come uncomplicated – again and again. You walk with us. You talk with us. You remember us and remind us of what has always been true.

And right there, in Your kindness, we begin to recall and rehearse all Your steadfast ways. And we feel the slow glow inside as our hearts begin to burn.

Before we know it, we find ourselves pleading to stay a little longer, even and especially in all our wondering with You.

The One who defeated death.

The One who lights our darkness.

The One who arrests our fears.

The One who keeps His promises.

The One who LIVES.

Lord, we don’t want to miss the Finish because we didn’t have the faith. Help us, we pray.

You said You’re coming again.

O come, O come, Emmanuel.

You told us to go and tell.

Open our eyes and set our hearts ablaze as we behold the real, live Star of Bethlehem ~ You, King Jesus ~ faithful, joyful, and triumphant.

Glory to God in the highest,

Peace on earth.

Amen.

*From Coming To Light: An Advent Experience through the Book of Luke, Day 24. You can also find this Advent devotional on our sister site here https://www.idisciple.org/post/advent-the-invitation-to-come?_hsmi=235962991&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_QkivlaZlFZEsugcgYRwRybHkBrQ0h-rtM95G2IBNybUGABeRDdjY_CEK2RfyIAfr4UZrpGBKy1ZAU6N30jTrYgxSk6Q

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