Luke 24:32 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?"
Everyone has hopes, most of hope for different things - and as important as these hopes are, often what happens is not what we had hoped for - and at such times we may feel disappointed, discouraged, downcast. So what do you do? Many things are suggested by the world, but I think there is really only one thing we can do - and that's nothing! That's right, there is nothing we can do that will really make any difference - the one thing that really does make a difference, is what we see in our text - what made the difference - Jesus walked with them - and that's the same thing that continues to make a difference in our lives, because God does not wait until we walk with him, until we find our way to him - God does not wait until we find our way - Jesus comes to us, Jesus walks with us, and as Jesus walks with us, Jesus shows us the way, the truth and the life.
So how do we see Jesus walking with us? Mostly, like the disciples in our text, we don't - we don't see - but that doesn't mean that Jesus isn't walking with us. And one of the biggest reasons why we don't see, is because we were not looking to see Jesus walking with us, we don't expect it. One might expect to see Jesus in church, but not in the ordinary things of life - and yet the story of the Savior is not a story of a distant and unapproachable god, but the story of God with us.
That's what happens in baptism, the water and the word wash our sins away, make us a new creation, and God comes to dwell within us, for the rest of our lives. The Spirit, working through the word has created faith within us, and will continue to work to open our minds to understand the scripture - and isn't that just what Jesus was doing as he walked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus? This is the "other half" of prayer. Mostly we think of prayer as something we do, we think of it as our talking to God, and while it is good that we talk to God, the most important things tend to happen not when we are talking to God, but rather when we are listening to God. Again we see, its not what we do, but what God does that really make the difference.
So how do we listen to God? We open the scriptures. Consider the use of "portals of prayer" don't you open the scriptures, and listen to God, that's what I'm talking about. You don't have to use portals of prayer, but many find it helpful. Many find it hard just to open the Bible and read - because then you have to consider what should you read, and sometimes just reading the words, as though itís the doing that maters, don't find it very rewarding - you've really got to leave some time to think about what you've read, perhaps to explore it further. How might you do that? One place to begin might be to look up the words you are unsure of in a dictionary or bible dictionary , you might want to follow the references you find in your bible which will take you to similar passages
While there are many ways that God can open to us the scriptures, many ways to study - there is one other important way that we ome to see Jesus with us - and that is in the Sacrament of the Altar - there in with and under the bread and wine, and we receive the body of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, something else also happens, our eyes are opened, and we can see how Jesus has been walking with us all along - the chief reason why we don't see Jesus with us all the time, is our sins, they separate us from God, and the blind us so that we do not see his abiding presence.