Friday, 23 August 2013

In His Presence

"In Your presence there's fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Ps 16: 11

I'm reflecting on Jesus' ministry on earth and how His presence must have brought such joy and pleasure and a few other emotions.

Relief and Delight
His first recorded miracle was at the wedding in Cana (John 2: 1-3, 11). If weddings were anything then as they are now, in terms of how worried persons would be if a main element of the ceremony were to run short (the wine) then we can surely imagine how relieved and delighted everyone would have been with that first miracle of our Lord. Jesus brings relief and delight

The Joy of Forgiveness and Life
2. She was mercilessly dragged along the street, probably hardly afforded the dignity of being properly covered; these devil-possessed men wanted the evidence to be incontrovertible, for Jesus must not find a way out of this one. They laid their charges and called for the full extent of the law to be applied. She knew enough of the traditions to know what that meant; her chosen path that made her an easy pawn in the hands of these beastly men. She wished she had made other choices; wished she attended the Synagogue more often; wished she had listened to the council of her parents and older siblings. It's too late now; she's going to die. She squeezes her eyes tight and waited for the first blow. The first stone hits the ground, and she braces for its impact as she expected it to ricochet off the ground... nothing. Another stone falls... and still nothing. And with increased frequency stones began to fall all around her like hail in a hail storm, but alas none touched her. Then everything was quiet. She dared not look - fearing to discover that her hope of escape would be instantly dashed. Would she survive; would she not die today, she wondered as she heard the last few pounds of departing feet. There was deafening silence. She listens with keener attention, "is everyone actually gone? No, wait, there's a shuffle, someone is still here." Then the sweetest voice she had ever heard/would ever hear spoke to her, "'Woman, where are those thine accusers; hath no man condemned thee?' She said, 'No man Lord.' And Jesus said unto her, 'Neither do I condemn thee, go, and sin no more.'" John 8: 10, 11. Her tears continued to flow, but no longer out of fear of death, but for the joy of life. In the presence of Jesus is the joy of forgiveness and life.

Although they had seen many storms at sea, this one was different. The winds blew with diabolical intelligence and intention. It was as if the demons moved in the threatening waves; their howls and shrieks could be heard in the wind. With every passing minute, each of which felt like an eternity, these seasoned seamen slid deeper into the dark despair of death; and there was nothing they could do to help themselves. "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Mark 4: 38. Was their cry to Jesus prompted by the usual expectation that in a crisis of this nature it's "all hands on deck," or was it a cry of faith and expectation; knowing they were in the presence of the Omnipotent one? It doesn't really matter. What matters is that Jesus heard their cry, arose and commanded the winds (demons really) "Peace be still." Mark 4: 39. And in that very instance, all was quiet... peaceful. In the presence of Jesus there is peace. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14: 27.

Be blessed by this beautiful song,

This reading is based on Psalm 16.  To read and/or listen to Psalm 16 and read other related blogs please click here.