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The Power of Presence

What a tremendous spring we are now having the day light is longer, the air is warmer, the grass is growing, and flowers are blooming. Baseball has begun, even though the Phillies will not be competing for the World Series this year it is still baseball. All in all the promise of spring and summer is here! (Compared to our long cold winter).

There is nothing quite like being in the presence of something truly special! On Palm Sunday my heart was stirred by Gods presence listening to the many stories of how God’s love and spirit changes and leads and is transforming lives. How moving it was for our church family to hear some of our new member’s share how God is leading in their lives in some significant ways. On May 24th we will be celebrating “Pentecost” the birthday of the church and remembering when some 2000 years ago while 120 people were waiting on the Holy Spirit of God. The impact was life changing as well! As Luke records in the book of Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” There was something truly amazing when the presence of the Holy Spirit infused the early disciples and followers their lives and journey took on a whole new adventure because the presence of God now was in them and in their midst.

The power of God’s presence and our presence has been on my mind a lot lately, and recently read an article by David Graves that I also shared these sentiments…

I was once again reminded of the power of presence. Presence is a noun, not a verb; it is a state of being, not doing. The state of being is not highly valued in a culture that places high priority on doing. Yet, true presence or “being with” another person carries with it a silent power—power to bear witness to a passage, to help carry an emotional burden, or to begin a healing process. In it, there is an intimate connection with another person that is perhaps felt too seldom in a society that strives for ever-faster and -broader “connectivity.”
As a pastor, I learned that just “being there,” being present, can mean the world to people, especially in their times of need. The power of one’s presence, not one’s words or wisdom, is what people will remember. The impact of being present with people not only conveys God’s love for them, but it is also a blessing to the one who is simply being present. The power of presence is not a one-way street, not just something we give to others. It always changes us, and for the better. It can positively affect our everyday living that spills out into our prayer life, our compassion for others, and our connection with people. This power of presence is not only for the people of our congregations; it is also for our families and our neighbors and those we around us. Intentionally setting aside time to be with one’s wife, children, and grandchildren to read a book, play a game, and listen to their stories communicates love. In those moments, the importance is not necessarily what we say or do, but that we are really there. We all know there are moments of action and trailblazing and preparedness that children desperately need from their father or mother. However, I believe there are just as many moments when they long for a power from us that comes primarily from our presence, humbling ourselves, like Christ, our example, and entering their worlds.

In our culture today many of us can get so busy “doing” that we miss the power of “being present.” As we allow the Spirit of God to be present in our lives it is surprising how that very same presence can lead us into making an eternal difference in other’s lives too! Let’s go make a difference!

 

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