First, please allow me the honor of wishing each and everyone of you a very, very Happy and Joyous Easter….
I’d like to invite you for just one minute to stop and reflect on this question…
When have you had an experience of God?
When have you been made aware of the presence of the Divine in your life?
Now if you would…can you just share as you feel so inclined…the answer to this question….Where did those experiences happen?
A hospital, my car, in a convention center, bench at a retreat center, a cemetery, a front porch swing and a ditch, as my plane was crashing….
Isn’t it interesting that many if not most of our experiences of the Divine happen in quite ordinary places, basically on the road of life and quite often not in Church!
Now reflect for a moment….I bet most of those experiences happened to be defining moments in our lives…
Why is it that most of our moments of the vivid experiences of God are found at the edge of liminality?
ecstasy or agony…tradgedy or triumph
Why is it that they are often the places where we find/meet God…
Maybe, just maybe, we encounter God there because there we are vulnerable…to the point of being open
It’s not that God isn’t there in the other times….its simply that for what ever and probably many reasons… are prevented from recognizing the Divine.
You see one of the greatest challenges we face is to become keenly aware of the sacredness of every moment….every encounter…
Our greatness my friends lie not in our profundity, popularity or position….It lies in our ever increasing awareness of the Divine in our lives and in our world…..
That is precisely the call and the invitation of the Spiritual life…to become aware of the constant presence of God in our lives, because when we do so, we will transform the world!
You see my friends, I believe this Gospel story … the Emmaus story is the preeminent Gospel for the Spiritual Life….because there are really two moments in this story…
Road moments and Bread moments
….those Road moments when God is walking with us and we can’t or we don’t see,
….those Bread moments when God becomes almost painfully evident and we almost can’t believe it!
Do you remember the days before you had that encounter with God? Probably alot of the same old, same old…SSDD
You see my friends we all have many Road moments…where we are just walking along, living our days…talking, walking, just living life…
Then something happens…tragedy or ecstasy…and we are pushed to the edge..and in our vulnerability we become open enough to see the God who has been walking with us the entire time..
The challenge for us to grow our awareness of the Bread moments…..to move from walking down the road of life, consumed by what we think should have happened, or ought to happen, consumed by our own losses, wounds or character defects…or those of the others with whom we are walking…and to stop long enough to see that God is right here…every day, every encounter, every frustration and every joy.
In February of 2007 when the plane I was flying was stuck in a spin, the ground was fast approaching and I wasn’t sure if there was going to be life in this world after the next few seconds, and my life was flashing in my minds eye
…I did wonder why I didn’t see how many times God was right there with me on the road…
Remember: Our greatness lies not in our profundity, popularity or position….It lies in our ever increasing awareness of the Divine in our lives and in our world…..
Sometimes I think we make holiness harder, more inaccessible than it really is….because we put on that term a whole host of preconceived notions and ideas…..we load up what being holy looks like…we get stuck on the Emmaus Road….
When our challenge really lies in simply stopping just long enough to let down our guard…to relax…to open ourselves to the possibility of the Divine…to those Emmaus Bread moments…
Maybe it can be as simple as this: every morning this week, before our feet hit the floor
…how about we say to ourselves
….today, I am going to be on the lookout for the Divine
…I am going to walk today with an active awareness that is searching for a glimpse of God
….and just see what happens
I tried it just a few days this past week…and
…I was amazed—I met God in a smile, in a handshake, in a hug, in line at the store, on the interstate while I was driving, in the parking lot filled with snow and ice, and in a tear that was running down the cheek of a fellow companion on this journey
—all because I asked to be conscious of seeing God in the world that day…
Let’s make this a week of moving from Road moments to Bread moments…
I’d like to offer this suggestion as well…let us break bread together and see what happens even just the rest of this Easter day!