Practicing the Presence of Jesus

Stan Mast

READ : Matthew 28:16-20

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (v. 20 NIV)

How can we be with Jesus when Jesus isn’t with us? He left. He’s gone. Oh yes, he said he would be with us always, but do we believe that? Really? If we truly believe his promise, then here’s what we have to do to grow in our knowledge of him: practice the presence of Jesus.

I’ve borrowed that expression from Brother Lawrence, a humble medieval monk who wrote a series of letters that became a profound little book titled The Practice of the Presence of God. He made a practice of focusing on Christ no matter what he was doing—cooking in the kitchen, slopping the hogs, or mending sandals. He knew Jesus was with him, and he practiced paying attention to him.

My wife and I were out to dinner the other night in a nice restaurant when we noticed another couple at a nearby table. They weren’t paying attention to each other, and instead were looking down texting others. They were in each other’s presence, but they weren’t present to each other.

How often are we like that with Jesus? He is with us but we are not with him. We’re not focused on him. The old hymn gives us timely advice: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, / Look full in his wonderful face, / and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, / in the light of his glory and grace.”

PRAYER

Jesus, open the eyes of our faith that we might know you better. Amen.