That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him. 

He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”  

“What things?” Jesus asked. 

“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago. 

“Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”

Luke 24:13-24

Distractions are all around us. I find myself distracted as I write this. I look at my phone as a notification alerts me of a new text. My inbox tab reports I have a new email to view. I stop typing because a thought pops into my head that I need to share with my wife. Distractions hinder work, connectional time with family and friends, and relational time with God. 

In today’s scripture passage, we see two men who are grieving the loss of someone they love. Jesus was someone they hoped would establish God’s kingdom in Israel, but he was betrayed by their religious leaders and crucified on a cross. Their hope was buried in a tomb. After staying for the weekend, however, they heard multiple reports of the grave being empty. They also heard a report that an angel appeared to some and said Jesus was alive. 

What do you think you would do in this situation? These two men said, “Adios,” to their grieving friends and left town. Why? We’re not told, but my guess is their distractions took them away from the greatest event in human history. Distractions take us away from everyday life as well. We get distracted from loving God and neighbor.  

Distractions include sharing rumors at the expense of someone’s humanity, who is always created in God’s image. Distractions allow us to violate God’s image inside us through fear of rejection. We become someone we are not to please other people. Distractions can take us away from our quiet time with God by motivating us to search news stations for the latest headlines or scores. 

There are many distractions, but we must keep the main thing the main thing. Let us never waiver in loving God whole heartedly and loving others as we love ourselves. 

April 12

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