Last Saturday we had a Methodist Festival, called Celebrating New Life. Our bishop, Will Willimon, delivered a sermon in the worship service that followed the lectionary. I have no idea how many pastors took his message and worked it into their own Sunday sermons, but I know of at least one. In the Luke passage for last Sunday, from Luke 24, is the account of the walk to Emmaus. Jesus revealed himself to the two with whom he had joined on the walk to Emmaus. Bishop Willimon suggested, why didn't Jesus, upon his resurrection, go to Pilate and show up next to him saying...."I'm Back"? Why didn't he go to Rome to the emperor and say..."I'm Here"? No, rather, Jesus showed up clandestinely to his own followers and revealed himself. What a wonderful experience it was hearing this beautiful sermon on how Jesus revealed himself to his followers, against their own better judgment, he revealed himself.
Jesus reveals himself today to us all, yet we sometimes find it hard to fathom. He reveals Himself every Sunday in every church. Yet, we find if hard to fathom. Remember, He said...."when two or three are gathered in my name, I am there..." yet we find it hard to fathom.
Well, Jesus comes to us each and every Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday, when we gather in His name. Are we humbled by His presence, or otherwise engaged that we don't stop to see he is there? Psst...He is there.
Tonight a mere 14 people gathered together to worship. Jesus was there...and we were touched by His presence. Can we expect Him to be there when there are 50, 100, 500, or more? Yes, indeed! As a popular hymn suggests...."Surely the Presence of the Lord is in This Place"...I'll ask...."can you feel His mighty power and His grace?".
On another note, last week, at the festival, I met with key people from my future charge. I introduced myself to them and said that I was their next pastor. What a warm embrace I received from them. What a warming in the Holy Spirit there was. I pray that in the next few months when I'm put in their charge, I'll faithfully serve and be the person that God means to have there at that time. I am deeply humbled, and taking on a servant's heart. Any prayers that one wishes to lift up on my behalf are deeply appreciated.