I traveled out of state over the weekend to share the presence of a dear friend. A friend whose father met Jesus this week. A friend who has been there for me…although no one is keeping score. The privilege of being in someone’s life is not marked by who has done what for whom. It’s not tallied on a score card as if there would be a final winner.
Others also came to pay respects and comfort a family in grief. It made me think about the being there for one another…the times we call out for someone’s presence and they come running. Because it’s in these moments that we practice the ministry of presence. The ministry of support, encouragement, and love for those who need us.
And I realized we learned about the ministry of presence from Jesus. He came to us as Immanuel as the angel told Joseph,
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
Then He promised His presence would be with us always in His last recorded words,
…surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20b
So in turn, we celebrate the ministry of presence in communion. As we celebrate and remember Jesus’ life on this earth.
We receive the ministry of presence when we reach out for the support of others. When we are vulnerable enough to ask for help.
We practice the ministry of presence when we show up for others. When we sit in their grief. As we listen to their stories. We share their memories. And we do life together.
Where are you practicing the ministry of presence today?
Thanks for creating community here with us! The Big Red Sofa Series is about the things I see in life that make me go hmmmm. What God teaches me in scripture. The ordinary things that God can use to drive home spiritual lessons. The questions I sometimes ask. The stories we can all share. So pull up a cushion and join me on the sofa. I’d love to hear from you!
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