9-8-17 - Jesus Here Now

Sometimes I wish Jesus would show up and set a few things straight in this messed up world of ours – if people would pay more attention than they did the first time around. But that idle wish misses a big ol’ point: He is here. He said he would be. It’s up to us to discern him and to make him known.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them,” is a promise. A promise of presence. To unfold that promise, though, requires a few actions from us.

First, we have to be able to distinguish between flesh and spirit. Jesus said that fleshly reality was limited, and that spiritual reality was never-ending. Jesus’ enfleshed presence was time-and-space-limited, 33 years or so, give or take, in one region of the world. His presence in a resurrection body lasted about 40 days. His spiritual presence is eternal, and still going strong among those who believe in his promise.

The other article of faith we need to affirm is the idea of Jesus living in us. I take the promises of baptism at face value - the promise is that we are united with Christ, made a new creation, given a new heart and a new spirit – his spirit. So Paul wrote, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” This filling with his spirit is not an “invasion of the body snatchers” thing. Rather, his spirit joined with mine brings forth a new person, that most true “Kate” (fill in your name) that can possibly be.

If Christ dwells in us, abides in us, then he is real in us. And when we gather with others in whom Christ lives, his presence becomes even stronger and more real. By believing and joining together, we make Christ present in our world, not just a suggestion of presence, but fully here, spiritually speaking. (We supply the flesh and blood.)

How might it change our lives and ministries if we brought this reality more fully to our consciousness? If, when we gathered together, we knew Jesus was among us, and we spoke and acted and prayed like we knew we were in the presence of the all-powerful God? If, when we went out in ministry, we made sure we went in teams of at least two, so that the power of Christ’s presence would fill and empower our work in his name? Don’t get me wrong – Christ is present in us when we’re alone. But he said when two or three of us – our more – gathered in his name, he would be in our midst.

Where do you think it would be great if Jesus showed up this weekend? What place, person, situation? Do you have any idea how you might bring him there, with a few others?

Going deeper… where do you think he might want to go? You might get quiet in prayer and ask him: “Jesus, where do you want me to take you today, to make you known?”

I can’t wait to hear how those prayers turn out. I do know the world needs a lot more Jesus, and we’re just the ones to help make that happen.

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