When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24: 30–32
A second theme from Celtic Christianity is the idea of the ‘thin place’ – a place or moment where heaven and earth feel very close. In the Bible there are many examples of thin places, such as when Moses approaches the burning bush and is told that he stands on holy ground (Exodus 3), or perhaps the thinnest place of all, when Jesus is crucified and the curtain in the temple is torn in two (Matthew 27: 51).
The passage we looked at in our worship was the road to Emmaus. In the story, Jesus is walking with the two friends, explaining the scriptures to them, but they don’t recognise him until he breaks bread. This is a thin moment: through Jesus’s actions they recognise they are in his presence, and the gap between heaven and earth is thin.
Yes, God is always with us, but in some times and places we can feel God’s presence more clearly. I encourage you to look for thin places or thin moments where you feel strongly God’s presence – and when you find your thin moments and places, make sure that you focus on them, revere them, and treat them like holy ground.
A hymn that may help you find a thin place or a thin moment is ‘Be still, for the presence of the Lord’ (Singing the Faith 20) by David Evans, helping us to remember that we are in the presence of God, that God is moving in our world – and if we look for it, we can see God’s glory.
God of time and space,
Help us to focus on your presence,
To listen for your voice and seek to sit with you.
In the quiet, may we hear you;
In the chaos, may we know your peace.