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The Presence of Jesus Christ in this World.

Updated: Dec 12, 2023


September has finally arrived, meaning we have officially entered into the fall season. Most schools will open, and that means the children are back in classes and parents will be returning to their primary occupations and preoccupations.


However, there will be extracurricular events such as soccer practices, dance classes and countless other activities to participate in. Of course, adults will discover their own schedules being renewed after a summer off from many of their commitments.


Does it seem like there is just too much to do in too short a time? Instead of adding an hour to the day, maybe we should add a day to each week! Just don't tell anyone else because then someone would try to schedule an activity for it! Just coming to Church on a Sunday morning can be a scheduling nightmare. Many people work and as mentioned, there are now soccer and hockey programs for our youth on Sunday mornings.


People also go to the cottage to get away on the weekends, not to mention the pregame sporting event shows that begin prior to any televised games. If we aren't careful, attending Church can also become part of this mix!


We are constantly being asked to commit ourselves. We are told that our children need to develop the discipline that comes through sports; thus, we are asked to commit the time

and the effort to see that it happens. Some of us are also reminded about how we need to keep fit, or become fit; thus, we need to commit the time, effort and resources necessary to make that happen.


And finally, we are reminded that in order for our faith community to function smoothly and grow, it needs its members to become more involved; thus, we are asked to commit the time, the effort and the resources necessary to make this happen. This is the kind of world where we may begin to wonder exactly where our loyalties lay, and also how thin we may have to spread ourselves. Does it frighten us that we don't seem to have enough time even to spend an hour on Sundays with our Lord and his family? Does it frighten us that most conversations we have with our children is in the car as we taxi them around? Does it frighten us that we seem to have become slaves to our calendars, unable to appreciate what it is we have scheduled?


Isaiah describes a people not unlike us, who had given their loyalty and themselves to the pursuit of self or of the world, who trusted in laws and sacrifices rather than a relationship with God.


How often have we, like them, justified ourselves by saying we are doing all these things for the sake of our children, or for our better health? Isn't that what we should be doing anyway? But still, isn't there the fear that we are missingout on something if we don't pursue it? We soon, nevertheless , discover that our heart is not full, and we wonder why. Have we become deaf to where all these things are leading?


For a moment, think about the business of your life. Are you so busy that you do not have time to know pain? Are you so busy that you cannot stop to hear another person's story of pain, and respond to it? Has your business made you deaf to your needs and the needs of others? How good is your relationship with your spouse, or your children, or with God? How much time do you spend with them on the average each day?


Bring yourself to Jesus Christ


Today, allow yourself to be the deaf person presented to Jesus from the Gospel. Imagine being brought to Him, not being able to hear the voices of others, led by your friends, but seeing the faces of strangers, vulnerable to the whispers and prejudices of the world.


Allow yourself to stand before Jesus. He does not do anything in the midst of the crowd. No, regardless of how busy He might be in His earthly ministry and how much He is able to demonstrate His power to the world; this moment is for you.


Indeed, Jesus takes you aside and gives you the time you need. As individuals, through Christ, we are presented to God. He appears to us in this way, and we are asked to fear not. Certainly, Jesus is not afraid to come close and touch us, even putting his fingers in our ears and upon our tongue! We watch Him as His lips form words spoken toward the heavens, and suddenly we can hear Him, and we can speak to Him as we've never spoken before!


As traditional Anglicans, we have the opportunity to stand with Jesus through the Eucharist. He presents Himself in the form of bread and wine. In the Eucharist we are offered an opportunity to receive Him into our lives. In the gift of Himself we are offered a new life in Christ; an opportunity to hear His words, see His presence and speak His promise for ourselves.


What does all this mean? Will our lives be changed because of today? Well, as mentioned earlier, we must first present ourselves to God as the vulnerable and weak creations we truly are. A humbling experience indeed. However, it is in this weakened condition that God takes us aside and marks us with His life and love.


So, how should we react? Look at how the deaf man in the Gospel reacted. He couldn't keep Himself from telling others what had happened - it did change his life. The mountains and valleys that had blocked him from hearing and speaking were removed, and the way was made clear for him.


Will it be that way for us? Will we go forth from Church proclaiming what God has done for us through Jesus Christ? Will we shout to the world how Jesus has given his life so that we might be able to hear, to speak, and to live new lives with him?


Know this: the person who stands before God and isn't afraid (Selfish)will have ears to hear the voice of God in the world. James tells us that true religion is to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep ourselves unstained by the world. The person who has God in his or her life will have their ears opened to hear his voice of the people who cannot always speak for themselves, meaning if we let go of our own fears and selfishness, we are gifted with the clarity needed to transform the world.


He comes to us, and we can understand clearly. Our Mission is obvious and we must go out into the world to fulfill it. We will find the words to convey his promises, to manifest his love, to offer his people hope.


I know from personal experience as a student chaplain at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital that the presence of Christ is very real and is present with both the visitor and the visited alike. Remember that when two or more are gathered in His name, He is there. Jesus lives with us and through us.


Moving Forward in your life


Today, Jesus Christ invites you to come forward and be touchedby him, and be given a new life through Him. However, if you accept His invitation, you will have to accept a new responsibility. It is imperative that you proclaim the 'Christ' thatdwells within you and that you live a Christianlife of faith; in both what you say and what you do. Above all, be joyfulwith the presence of Jesus Christin your world because you know that He brings wholeness and life for all who seek Him out.


Finally, become a Sacrament - allowing God to use you as His Grace-giving instrument for a spiritual needy world. Remember, know that in Christ you receive not only life, but also new ears to hear and a new tongue to speak the Good News to everyone who will listen. Now that you are equipped, go into the world of your children, of your work, and in your neighborhoods. Realize that the schedules you keep are not weights but rather openings to share the new life that you have found in Cist, not just this morning but every day. Know that God is with you, and you should have no fear.


Amen!


For Morning Prayer on the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost Published on September 10th, 2000 {Revised on August 27th, 2021}


© Dr. Charles Warner 2021


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