God's Presence Permeates Our Lives
It's been a few weeks since Easter. Jesus is still risen! We still have victory over death!
But things are getting busy. Everyday life is filling our schedules with everyday concerns. And I suggest that this is right where God wants to meet us.
Recently--on Easter day, and the day after--I had the great privilege of baptizing two young men. Both of them beamed as they received the message of Jesus with joy. They inspired our whole congregation with their decision to be plunged into Jesus.
Their baptisms inspired me. But they also reminded me of the path that still lies ahead of these young men. I was reminded that Jesus' presence isn't just for Easter morning, or the day of our baptism. They will have a lot of ups and downs in life. Jesus will be with them through all of it.
Recently--last Saturday--I also had the great privilege of being part of joining a couple in marriage. Billie and Tim glowed with love and joy as we called on God to join them together. But we all know that God's blessing on a marriage isn't just for our wedding day. I was reminded that we all have a lot of ups and downs in marriage, and Jesus is with us through all of it.
I've been preaching through the book of Ruth, and am struck by the way God is present throughout our stories. God showed kindness to Naomi's family through the two Moabite women who married her sons. God showed faithfulness to Naomi through the decision of Ruth, her daughter-in-law, to stick with her after the death of both their husbands. God blessed the two widows, Ruth and Naomi, through hard work and kind neighbors, through strangers and (especially) through people who were willing to be family to them.
God is present throughout our stories.
A baptism or a wedding, a new home or a new church, is just the beginning. God is with us in every step along the way. Week after week, we gather and learn, worship and share. Week after week, we teach children about the Bible, and read and pray so we can grow. Week after week, we rally around those who are sick and hurting, and we look for ways to reach out to new people.
And God is present in all of it.
This Saturday, May 21, at 5 p.m., we will meet at the church for a prayer walk around our neighborhood in Laughlintown. I encourage you to give this a try, as we learn to see God's presence in the everyday life of our neighbors.