Devotion shared by Amanda Phillips at the evening worship service following the Enid Welcome Table on April 30, 2017.
The walk to Emmaus… a very popular story, because it’s relatable on so many levels. Some will read this story and see men so distraught and so in mourning, they do not recognize the Savior. That is very relatable. Deep in anguish and pain, how many of us have wondered where God is?
Some will read this story and see stubborn men who didn’t believe the women who went before them. (That’s what I see) That’s pretty relatable as well.
There are many “meanings” or “lessons” in this story…
I’d like to focus on this one:
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.
They recognized him through the breaking of bread. They were blind until they shared a meal together. Their heartache and weariness lifted in sharing food with Christ. They’re eyes were opened.
Today was a very hard day for my family. We have said “congratulations” and “see ya soon” to our Associate Minister and friend, Rev. Shannon Speidel as she moves on to a new position with the Oklahoma Coalition of Churches. The last few weeks I have been walking through my life with deep sadness in my heart, so today, I tried to focus on all of the sharing.
Shannon shared Christ’s love first with my children when she began her ministry here. Always focused on serving God by helping others, she found ways to sow service into the children’s ministry. She worked with others to have the kids lead worship at nursing homes and serve homebound communion. She had these little people breaking bread and showing love to those who cannot attend church. They collected pet food for the SPCA and made doggie blankets. Her heart always on ways to help others. She shared her service and our eyes were opened and we recognized Christ.
Shannon continues to spend her ministry being an advocate for all people, LGBTQ and women in particular. Standing up for health and justice issues for those who are discriminated against and ridiculed. She shared her support for others and our eyes were opened and we recognized Christ.
Shannon wanted anyone at all who needed a meal to be able to come eat without strings attached. No hoops to jump through, no prerequisite, no religious requirements. If people are hungry, you just feed them. She worked very hard to keep everyone involved in this project focused and was vital in making sure that Enid Welcome Table became a reality. She shared a meal and our eyes were opened and we recognized Christ.
As she moves forward in her career I’m incredibly confident that she will continue to move mountains. It is our duty to keep sharing Christ’s love with all we meet as we continue forward here. Breaking bread with strangers, sharing the cup with all we meet, so that their eyes may be opened and through us they can recognize Christ.
We have a children’s worship service on Sunday morning called “Following Jesus.” During this worship we light a “Christ candle.” I tell the kiddos “it reminds us that He is with us as we hear the word of God.” At the end of the service we “change the light.” I take the candle snuffer and cover the candle until it goes out. Slowly I raise and swirl the snuffer to make beautiful swirls of smoke. As I do this, they hear something like this: “Now it’s time to change the light, because we know that the light of Christ isn’t really this candle and doesn’t stay in this room. The light is within us and goes with us as we share the love of God with others.”
Thank you Rev. Speidel for shining that light. Let us all move from this place and share God’s love so that eyes may be opened and they can see the risen Savior.