Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The always and forever presence of Jesus, a fulfillment of a promise. Reflections on Matthew 28:20 with a personal story about my son Tim and me.

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 28:20 (RSV)
And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

We were walking in the mall, my son and me. During those years I had but one speed – full tilt. With long legs it was easy to cover a lot of territory. It wasn’t noticed, but Tim was having a hard time keeping up. Finally, he either got tired or simply had had enough. He stopped dead in his tracks and simply stopped. He stood there, arms folded, staring at me. When I finally took note of the fact that my son was no longer beside me. I too stopped, turned around, walking back to where he was standing asking what was wrong.

His response brought me up short: “Are you here with me?”

Admitting to your child that your mind was on the “agenda,” that “it” was more important than just being with him is not an easy admission, but there in the middle of Tyrone Square Mall, St. Petersburg, Florida on that Saturday afternoon I had to do just that. It was one of many “ouch” moments in life. So, we did stop, sat down and shared a bowl of ice cream … and simply enjoyed being together.

Isn’t it easy to get caught up in the moment … to concentrate on the “agenda” … to zero in on the task … to focus on doing than on being?

Jesus had a task to fulfill during his days on earth, but it was a people-centered task. People were important to him … even those whom society said were not important. People like children, women, foreigners, sick, dying, diseased, widows, orphans … the disenfranchised of society. People like you and like me.

But his task went beyond the years of his earthly ministry. He promised to be there for us regardless of the time, the day, the year or the agenda of our lives … “unto the ends of the age” … always there … always! In good times and bad he is there. During the up-days and the down-days he is there. When it rains and when the sun shines he is there. Always … 24/7 … never ending, never ceasing, never … ever he is there! Always is a very, very long time!

Sometimes we lose sight of that reality. We get caught up in our agenda, our task, our wants, our desires, our job, our wishes, our problems, our aches, our pain, our failures, our victories, that we fail to notice that we have a companion walking beside us. He keeps reminding us, “Hey, I’m here with you. So let’s slow down. Let’s enjoy each other. Let’s enjoy those who are on this journey with you. I’m not going anywhere and if you slow down to enjoy their presence … to hear their stories … neither will they.” 

For always being there, even when we do not take notice of your presence, thank you.

QUOTE by Max Lucado:
Funerals, divorces, illnesses, and stays in the hospital – you can’t lie about life at such times. Maybe that’s why Jesus is always present at such moments. (God Came Near, p. 54)

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