In fact I think of one where the preacher didn’t utter those fateful words, ‘Lord, we come into your presence…’.
Although I was having coffee with an old friend the other day, an Anglican Bishop, and as I was wittering on about my pet hate, he finished my sentence for me, ‘…why, where have I been all your life?’
There was one event when a friend and I brought a lady to hear a visiting speaker to a church of which I was then a member.
She was stoically lasting a ragged divorce and we thought it would be a comfort to her, when at the end of the of the service the speaker decided, with the agreement of the minister, to allow the service to run on.
But recognizing that some of us, including the lady we had brought, needed to go, he additional: ‘And I will understand that there are some who due to family commitments have to leave God’s presence now…’.
I was appalled, as was the minister who deftly corrected the implication that this poor experiencing lady had no different but to confront the cold and loveless world alone.
In recent years I have become increasingly aware that God fills the universe; there is no place I can go to where he is not already there.
As king David said: ‘I can never get away from your presence! If I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride on the wings of the morning, or dwell by the farthest oceans, already there your strength will sustain me’.
Most of us accept that, if only at a cerebral level, but having just passed Easter, it’s worth noting that the resurrection of the crucified Christ reinforces the belief that we can meet him in the everyday, indeed, we probably do, we’re just not aware of it.
For example, his post-resurrection turn up was so ordinary that Mary took him to be the gardener, then he met two of his disciples as they walked along on the road to Emmaus and they didn’t notice anything special about him and, of course, there’s the wonderful picture of him making breakfast of roasted fish on the beach for his friends.
Some of us reading this might be living in a dark and lonely place.
None of us should miss the opportunity to meet him, in the everyday.
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