“Give us today…” – Matthew 6:11.
God is clearly a God of the present. One of the most noteworthy qualities of Jesus is that no matter who He interacted with, no matter what He was doing, and no matter what He needed to do for the rest of the day, He was always fully present in the moment. Whoever He was talking to had His undivided attention.
There are many examples of that fact in the Bible. One of the most well-known stories about Jesus is when in the middle of teaching, something interrupts Him. Here is what it actually says happened in Matthew 19:13-15, “Little children were brought for Jesus to lay his hands on them and pray. But the disciples scolded those who brought them. “Don’t bother him,” they said. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and don’t prevent them. For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” And he put his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.” Jesus saw a greater opportunity and He stopped, blessed and prayed for the children. Another example is found in Luke 18.
Jesus was walking into Jericho. Large crowds are gathering all fighting for His attention. In the midst of this, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” There are plenty of reasons to just keep walking. Jesus doesn’t have time for this guy because He is going somewhere and He is too important to stop for every person who calls out His name. The disciples rebuke the blind beggar and then Jesus rebuked the disciples. In that moment, He was fully engaged with Bartimaeus. Jesus stopped and asked what would you like for me to do? The blind man says he wants to see. Jesus gives him his sight.
How often do we miss fully living in the present moment because we are so busy rehashing the past or rehearsing the future?As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Northstar we rejoice over what Jesus has done and look with great anticipation towards what He has promised to do; yet we often fail to consider what He is doing right now, today, in this very moment. Jesus has done great things for us and has promised to do even more, but we should not miss out on what He is doing right now. Scripture tells us that Jesus is actively working on our behalf, interceding and advocating for us. While He has redeemed our past and secured our future, He is also uniquely and intimately involved in our today.
Jesus was and is always fully present in the moment. Our goal is to be like Him. Our goal is to be engaged in whatever or whoever is in front of us. Who in your life needs you to be present for them today? There is someone around you that just needs you to be present in their life. There is someone who simply needs to know that somebody would love them enough to think about them — to be near to them.
Jesus gave the gift of His presence. Our presence has the potential to bring healing and peace to those around us.
- Who in your life needs you to be present for them today? In what ways has God been present in your own life? In what ways has He demonstrated His nearness to you? And in what ways could you be His reflection today?