Then Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
50 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God. – Luke 24:44-53
We’ve been working on mindfulness these days. Things like misplaced cell phones, walking into a room and forgetting why we’re there. Those are somewhat important. But being truly present and being mindful about the conversation and actually listening is even more important. Mindfulness has to do with going through life not on autopilot. Intentionality takes deliberate effort.
I wonder whether the disciples had been more on autopilot than they realized even as they were being taught by Jesus. I wonder if they thought they had heard it all before. Might they have thought, “We’ve got this. We know how this is going to roll.”
Certainly they didn’t have closed minds like the Pharisees and other religious leaders did. Surely they were open to the new ideas that Jesus was teaching. Obviously they didn’t reject Jesus out of hand. They no doubt were soaking it in as he challenged the status quo.
But maybe not. Jesus had to open their minds to understand the Scripture. After three years with Jesus they still needed some remedial tutoring about the very basic foundations of the faith. Somehow they didn’t soak it all in. Somehow they needed some further clarity. The Apostles!
So pardon me if I suggest we may all need some more open mindfulness. It’s not the same as open mindedness, although open mindedness is part of it. Being intentionally focused on what we’re doing means watching for Jesus’ kingdom coming. It means watching for kairos moments – those moments when Jesus’ kingdom breaks through and God calls us to repent and believe.
That’s what is happening here. Jesus is showing up (literally!), and by opening their minds and making them to understand the Scriptures, he’s calling them to repent and believe.
If we pay attention, God may be showing up and calling us to repent and believe as well. If we sense that, there is no better place to go than to the Scriptures. The wisdom literature offers us insights and direction about managing life itself. The Psalms give voice to deep emotions and yearnings of the soul. The letters of the New Testament reveal how the faith is to be lived day to day. The gospels point us to Jesus the source of life and salvation.
When we are mindfully open to the God moments of life be sure to follow the trail to faith in Jesus. Be open to his word of grace and truth. For surely this is God’s ultimate desire for us all. And as we are mindfully open to his teaching we will certainly be blessed.