Read: Luke 24:13-35
“They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’”
The Scriptures Set Hearts on Fire
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times,” cries out the exhausted mom to the kids who just don’t seem to get it. She had told them to get ready for bed, but when she saw what they were doing instead, she thought she might as well have been asking the dog to cook dinner. It’s not that her words weren’t clear. It’s not that she forgot to tell them. The truth of the matter is the kids were just too busy with other things for any of her words to really register.
Sometimes it’s hard to really hear what’s being said, especially when your mind is on other things. And it’s not just the kids! Consider these two men walking on the road to Emmaus on Easter afternoon. They just didn’t get it. Jesus had to suffer, die, and rise again. It’s not like they hadn’t heard this before. The entire Old Testament had been pointing to this, but they were so preoccupied with other thoughts that all the things that God had been telling them through his Word just didn’t register.
But then Jesus talked. He stayed patient with them. He taught them. He reminded them of all the things that they had likely been reading in God’s Word since childhood. They began to understand. Then he broke bread with them, and they saw . . . they saw Jesus! They saw Jesus for who he is, the fulfillment of all the Scriptures. They saw Jesus as their hope for eternal life. Their hearts were set on fire! Not a real fire, but the Holy Spirit planted faith in their hearts through the Word, and that made it all register!
Sometimes, it can be hard for things to really register when your mind is on other things. And for families, the mind can be filled with a lot of other things—the upcoming birthday, schoolwork, bills, jobs, parenting, dance class, piano lessons, baseball practice, housekeeping, and the list could go on. But for just a few minutes, set that off to the side. Open the Scriptures together and hear the marvelous news of Christ risen for us! And while you do, know that the Holy Spirit is at work setting a fire in your heart and the hearts of your whole family. It’s the fire of faith!
Holy Spirit, we thank you for working faith in our hearts through the Word of God. Continue to open your Word to us that the fire of faith may continue to burn in our hearts. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Share one time that you struggled to listen to what Mom or Dad (or another adult) asked you to do.
- Jesus forgives us for all the times that we have not listened to his Word or we haven’t listened to our moms or dads (or other adults who care for us). Why can we be sure that we are forgiven?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Why did Jesus call the Emmaus disciples “foolish” and “slow of heart to believe”?
- Instead of getting mad at them, what did Jesus do for these “foolish” disciples?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Explain what it means that the disciples’ “hearts were burning within them.” What (and/or who) caused this “heartburn”?
- Does God’s Word work in our hearts even if we don’t feel it? Explain.
Hymn: CW 160:1 – This Joyful Eastertide
This joyful Eastertide,
Away with sin and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
Has sprung to life this morrow.
Had Christ, who once was slain,
Not burst His three-day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen;
But now has Christ arisen!