Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Walk to Emmaus

My Walk to Emmaus weekend 

Last weekend I participated in Walk to Emmaus. What a wonderful and amazing weekend!  I made some new Christian friends, felt a closeness to God more ever before, and my faith was definitely strengthened.

The Walk to Emmaus is a retreat and spiritual renewal program which is used to strengthen the local church through developing of Christians to be better disciples and leaders.  The walk is the retelling the resurrection story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35.   

An Emmaus weekend is experienced through worship, Holy Communion, support of caring Christian communities, and many other expressions of God’s love.  It consists of small group discussions, common meals, singing, worship, and sharing of lives.  After the three-day walk together, we leave to start our “Fourth Day”, which is every day after the weekend - emphasizing participation in  church, community, and support groups for mutual encouragement, guidance, and accountability.

We learned in order to have a relationship with God we need to live a life of piety, study, and action for balance. 

  • We should live a life of piety.  It’s not a life that become Pious, but instead it’s a life giving our hearts to God - to live in total connection with Him.  You will get out of a relationship just what you put into it.  Some characteristics of a good relationship are: Time, Resources, Attention, Learning, Commitment, and Honesty.  Our relationship with God influences our relationships with all others.  A friend knows all about you and loves you just the same.  Lip service will not build a relationship.  
  • We need to study scripture - to acquire knowledge.  We need to grow to reach full development or maturity.  Romans 12:2 Paul said that “we are transformed through the renewal of our minds.”  We grow through study by knowing the good news that God freely gives grace to everyone in Christ Jesus.  Studying scripture helps know the heart and will of God.  It helps know you are a child of God equipped with special gifts to be used for His purposes.
  • We need to have action - People see God in us through Christian Action.  If we are faithful, we will get out and do something.  Christ has no hands but yours.  Remind yourself that God is with you.  Listen how and what He might be calling you to do.  John 13:14-15 - "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.  I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you."
I highly recommend going to Walk to Emmaus for a weekend retreat.  They are held all over the US.  It was the most moving and memorable retreat I have ever participated in.  My life has been changed forever!