While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them…
Reflection: His Loving Presence :: Love of Advent
By John Tillman
Where did Jesus go when he disappeared from Emmaus?
We do not know, other than he traveled to meet them once again. First he was suddenly missing on the road, then suddenly standing among them back in Jerusalem.
He came to them.
He is always the God who comes to us—not just during Advent.
He comes to us in Genesis and in John 1 as the source of life, light, and goodness.
He comes, calling to us in the garden, “where are you?”
He comes to us, burning in a bush, experiencing the suffering of those who cry out to him.
He comes to us, outside of Jericho—a mighty commander, neither on our side or our enemies’.
He comes to us in the voices of the prophets, crying in the wilderness, in the palace throne rooms, in the city streets, from the city walls, from the corruption-filled temple courts, from the bottom of cisterns—crying for justice, for the end of oppression and violence against the defenseless.
He comes to us as to Jerusalem, as the arriving king, the teacher of wisdom, and the healer of the blind and lame.
He comes to us as the unwanted king, a stumbling block, and a rejected cornerstone, weighed in the balance with a sinful thumb on the scale—righteousness himself, condemned by the sinfully corrupted.
He comes to us, resurrected. Both corporeal and transcendent. One foot in our eternity and one in our present.
He comes to us as the Holy Spirit, that we may carry out his actions in the physical world in his power.
The gift of his presence is why he came. It is why he left Heaven and eternity to enter time, and skin, and intimate relationships. Jesus chooses messy companionship over perfect solitude. He is the God who risks pain and death to gain our fickle friendship and vacillating love.
Where is God when we don’t see him? He is both among us, leading us, and coming to us. He comes, bringing us the gift of his loving presence.
What are we waiting for? He is among us. His love and power are present in our midst. With the gift of his presence, we need not be troubled. We need not shrink from suffering, service, or humiliating treatment.
We are with him. And wherever we go in the world may be blessed by his love and his peaceful presence.
Prayer: The Morning Psalm
He sent redemption to the his people; he commanded his covenant forever; holy and awesome is his Name. — Psalm 111:9
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Read More about Quieted with Love :: Advent’s Love
God’s love for us is passionate and unrelenting—he pursued us even to death on a cross.
Read More about Seeing the Lord :: Readers’ Choice
God’s presence reaches into every part of the world as his Spirit empowers people of faith in each vocation
Support our Work
Each month over 22,000 Park Forum email devotionals are read around the world. Support our readers with a monthly or a one time donation.