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Were Not Our Hearts Burning?

April 19, 2023

By Derek Handley

Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and a variety of topics.

Does your heart ever feel like it's burning from within?

No, not like that. Like more of the profound, spiritual variety...

The Biblical text for this coming Sunday is from Luke 24 (verses 13-35). And I LOVE how the disciples describe their encounter with Jesus:

Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”

Context (and you'll get more of this on Sunday from Charlie): it was maybe midday, the same day that Jesus was resurrected, and the disciples were walking to Emmaus talking about all that had happened. A man starts walking and talking with them, asking what they're talking about. This man turns out to be Jesus but the disciples don't recognize him until he breaks bread for them.

Before they even knew it was Jesus, they recall how their hearts were burning.

Have you ever experienced something like this?

We are approaching the season of Pentecost in the Church at the end of May, and the first thing that comes to mind for me is - FIRE!

The Holy Spirit is symbolically described as being like fire, or wind, or a bird.

Pretty cool, huh?

When I think of moments I may have experienced my heart burning within me, I think of a handful of moments - all of which involve leading music in worship.

I have done this almost exclusively with my wife Natalie for years. In fact, we will be leading music at Covenant this Sunday!

One moment does come to mind when I think specifically of the disciples' experience that day on the road to Emmaus. I don't recall many details, but it involved leading worship at my former church in Evanston, Illinois years ago. I recall feeling almost like I was levitating during one of the opening songs. After the service, all of us almost simultaneously asked each other something like...

"Did you feel that?"

I feel like this could be a possible translation to what the disciples asked each other.

With confidence, I describe this experience as being the Holy Spirit moving within me. I can try to explain what that feels like, but when I get into the science behind it - words fail.

There are feelers, and there are doers. I am most definitely a feeler.

When it comes to Head vs. Heart (rational vs. emotional), I am most definitely of the Heart variety.

You don't have to explain the Holy Spirit, you just experience it.

And I love that.

What are your burning heart experiences? I would love to hear them.

Comment on this blog or on the Facebook post!

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