What is it like to know that God is among us, walking with us through the day to day of our lives? Many of us can answer that from the reverse angle. We know how chaotic and out of balance our lives can be, and in these times it seems that God is nowhere to be seen. Let me share two recent times in my life that I felt the presence of God in beautiful ways. I hope these examples will encourage you and lead you to think about how our God is with us.
On Sunday mornings in our Twenty-Something class (shameless plug warning: if you’re in your 20’s and don’t have a class you are very welcome to join us!) we’ve been studying the cross of Jesus, and how one author describes it as the moment that everything changed. Our study has taken us to some events before the cross, like the night in the upper room when Jesus washed the disciple’s feet as recorded in John 13. In Luke’s gospel, this same event also has Jesus sharing his body and blood with the disciples, and this is my first example of feeling the presence of Jesus. It’s when we take communion together. Every week we get to share this life changing event with each other, and oh how blessed I am to feel the Lord’s presence with us as we partake. This is a high water mark for me. During it, I can meditate and see the upper room, imagining being there and having him serve his body and blood to the disciples and to you and me. I can also look around at you, my church family and rejoice that together with you we are proclaiming to the world that Jesus is Lord and that he is coming back to be with us in an even more unique way. Your faith on display as we partake is a great encouragement to me. That’s number 1!
While partaking this past Sunday I was also thinking about how Jesus was going to be with us later that same evening when we were at 10 Fitness, sharing time and our lives with the homeless. Thanks to Eric Buckner’s generous heart and initiative the Single’s/Young Professionals get to do this on the last Sunday of every month (and once again you are also invited to join us). The Bible shouts to us from beginning to end that caring for the hurting, hungry, lost, and lonely is at the heart of God. No wonder it is so incredibly easy for me to imagine Jesus in and out of each conversation we have with our friends at 10 Fitness. More times than not, they encourage us with how they are holding on to God in the midst of their struggles. And like when we commune together, looking around at my brothers and sisters serving others spikes my awareness of his presence. Oh, and did I mention that one of my greatest joys with the homeless is sitting with them, enjoying some great food together? Seems like Jesus is at home with us when we share the table together, doesn’t it?
And what about you, do you feel his presence? I’m sure that you do, and I’d love to hear about how and when you do. Let’s encourage each other by reminding one another that God is with us!
Scott Karnes, who authored this article, is the PV Singles/Young Professional and Missions Minister. He is an avid St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan, drives a cool old-fashioned pickup and enjoys helping his with wife, Denise, with her latest DIY projects.
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