Written by Pastor Ben
ENCOUNTER: Read Matthew 7:7-8
I think Easter is such an incredible day of celebration, and this last Sunday did not disappoint. I loved being together with my church family, leaning into this incredible theological and transformational truth. And the more I reflected on Easter, the more I longed to be more aware of the living God, the resurrected Jesus, in my life and in the world.
So many of us long for this to be more and more real in our lives, but most of us seem to miss it. It is probably because we are waiting for a sign from God, an unmistakable guide post, voice, or vision to confirm the reality of the resurrection. We think the incredible stories scattered throughout the scriptures are normative.
While those stories still may be normative, our timing is all messed up. Over the course of an entire life, God maybe shows up in a crazy and clear way once or twice. And those guys made the bible. For the vast majority of the people in the scriptures and in the world, Jesus reveals himself in more subtle ways over longer periods of time.
Jesus promises to be with us, he promises that if we seek him he will be found. Just like in these silly 3D pictures. Jesus is in plain sight, waiting to be found. We are usually too busy or distracted or impatient to do the work of seeking.
If you long to encounter the risen Lord, to experience a greater depth in your faith and in your love for God, then you may need to stop your hurried existence, slow your mind, take a deep breath and look deeply into the picture, lean in and ask God to show up! Do the disciplines we worked through in our last sermon series, and as Jesus slowly reveals himself to you, do more of that. Continue to do those things that work for you until the picture becomes clear and you come to know and understand how wide and deep is the love of God.
This is the hard work. Will you be willing to reflect deeply. When was a time you felt the closest to God? What were the things you did that allowed that to happen? Then do that more. :)
BE A BLESSING:
Here is a secret. Serving others, being a blessing, being generous and the human interaction that comes with that are the places Jesus shows up the most. We see this when people come back from mission trips and service trips. Give it a try and embrace the human interaction when you bless others and seek Jesus in it!
And one more thing to not forget. It is when two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, it is then that Jesus shows up and promises to be there with us. We must not give up being together, searching together, serving together, praying together, bearing each other’s burdens together. Being reflective, being a blessing, and being together are three main things that need to happen to posture ourselves in a way to see the revealed Jesus, the risen Lord!