Originially ran October 21, 2016
My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young,
by the side of your altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God.
Happy are they who dwell in your house!
They will always be praising you.
Happy are the people whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way.
When was the last time you were intimately aware of God being present in your life? I really want you to ask yourself this question and then answer it.
The way that you experience God being present with you is different from how other people experience God’s presence. When I become aware of God’s presence, I feel a refreshing calm which is often associated with a tingle on the back of my neck and head. Afterwards, I tend to experience passionate determination and excitement. Maybe you have felt God’s Presence in the same way, or maybe you experience God being present when you suddenly have a very clear mind.
What distinguished that time when you felt God being close to you from times you do not feel God being present? Was there something that triggered you to be more aware of God’s Presence? Maybe it was a certain hymn being sung, or maybe it was a secular song that spoke to something that is deep within you. Perhaps it was in the stillness of early morning, or perhaps you were surprised by God tapping you on the shoulder during a busy day at work.
The Psalm for this Sunday talks about experiencing God’s Presence by using the Temple as the primary image. The Psalmist uses this image to express the joy and happiness that can be found in dwelling in God’s Presence.
I think that being aware of the presence of our Lord is one of best things to experience in life. In it, we find God gives us ground to stand on, even if there is chaos roaring around us. One place where Jesus has twice promised to be with us will be at worship on Sunday. As we gather in his name, Jesus will be in our midst. As we break bread, we will eat the very body and blood of Jesus and therefore Jesus will be in us and us in him. 10:45AM on Sunday. I am looking forward to seeing you there.
If you want to find more ways to experience God’s presence in your own life, contact me so we can talk about it. I would like you to experience God’s presence regularly. If you need help with this, I can help.
May God’s Presence bring you joy this weekend,
Yours in Christ,
Holy God, our righteous judge, daily your mercy surprises us with everlasting forgiveness. Strengthen our hope in you, and grant that all the peoples of the earth may find their glory in you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.