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The Living Presence

The Living Presence

by Jan Cooke on November 24, 2020

Today’s LifeWords will be the final article for 2020 and as I considered what I’d like to leave you with for the remainder of this surprising year, I settled on the beautiful words of Rev. Rueben Job, beloved Methodist bishop and author.  His description of living in the presence of the living Christ is especially uplifting and I hope it brings you hope, peace and joy.  Blessings to all, Jan

At this very moment when I write and at the very moment when you read these words, you and I are in the presence of the living Christ.  We often forget this central truth of the Christian faith, and when we do, we can be easily overcome by the troubles of the world.  Opening ourselves to the profound reality of living in the presence of Jesus tends to turn our eyes, hearts, and lives more fully toward God.

As I write, I hope that my ordinary life and ordinary capacity will be energized, directed, and used by the One who gives me life and has called me to this ministry.  If I allow myself to think that all this is up to me, I risk feelings from despair to arrogance.  But if I remember that I am not alone, but think, work, and live in the presence of the living Christ, I remain hopeful that even the most simple and ordinary task carried out in that presence will be sacred, meaningful, and useful.  For you, these words are now read and heard in the presence of Jesus Christ, who is able to use the most simple and ordinary words to enlighten, comfort, heal, and direct the seeking heart.

The risen Christ is with us and therefore we need not fear the events of this day or any day that lies in our future.  We know that we live each day in companionship with the One who is able to rescue, redeem, save, keep and walk with us through every experience of this life and the next.  This realization does not take away the pain or uncertainty that life holds.  But as followers of Jesus, we walk with God in Christ, and that makes the journey rich in meaning, joy, and peace no matter where it leads.

The Living Presence 

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself
and God our Father,
who loved us and by his grace
gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you
in every good deed and word.
II Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am convinced that
neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from
the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

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