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An encounter with Jesus changes everything

Light for the Way seriesWe invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

By Campus Pastor Keith Lomen, Orchard Path and Valley Ridge
 
"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?'" — Luke 24:32
 
It was in the afternoon of that first Easter Sunday. Two Christ-followers were gloomily making the seven-mile walk from Jerusalem to their home in Emmaus. They were talking together about all the events of the past week and how their Savior and friend, Jesus of Nazareth, was arrested, tried, found guilty and finally crucified like a common criminal on a cruel cross.
 
As they sadly trudged along, they were joined by a stranger, who asked them what they were talking about. The ‘stranger’ was the now risen Jesus, but somehow, they didn’t know it was Him. 
 
The two men listened intently as He fully explained to them what the Scriptures taught about the Messiah. Before long they arrived home, and because it was getting late, they urged Him to stay. Dinner was prepared, and Jesus blessed the food they were about to share. At that moment, they finally recognized Jesus, but before they could say a word, in a flash, He was gone.
              
Then they spoke this most poignant line: "Were not our hearts burning within us as we walked and talked with Jesus, as He opened up the Word to us?" Their burning hearts told a hopeful, even miraculous tale that first Easter day. Once they recognized they had been with the risen Christ, everything changed!
 
Light for the Way seriesTheir despair turned into hope. Their sorrow turned into joy. Death turned into life. Dashed hopes into new possibilities. Their "heartburn" confirmed that "they had seen the Lord!" Jesus was alive! 
 
But what about us serving here today at PHS? Are we living like the song lyrics, "We serve a risen Savior, and He’s in the world today?" Has the truth of the resurrection sunk into our hearts and lives yet? Have we ever experienced a "God-induced" heartburn?
 
My hope and prayer today for each one of us is that the Holy Spirit would give us this "right kind of heartburn." May God work in our hearts to give us a burning love for God’s people, a burning desire to serve the risen Lord with all our might, and an ever-burning, steady trust in the Father, come what may. May our hearts burn as did the hearts of these Emmaus Road friends, as we walk and talk with Jesus along the dusty roads of our lives.

Pastor Keith Lomen serves PHS as Campus Pastor at Orchard Path in Apple Valley and Valley Ridge in Burnsville, MN. He is happily married for 37 years to his beautiful wife Nan. They have two sons and two grandsons, and are actively enjoying (and fixing up!) their new home in White Bear Lake. Pastor Keith loves sports and follows them all, and he still plays as many of them as he can.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

Confidence in our witness of Christ
Navigating uncertainty: re-hearing the story of the women at the tomb
Crying out to God who listens
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series

In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care website

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