September 15, 2013: “Living in the Present”

Posted on : Sep 12th, 2013 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

One of the hardest things in life is to live in the present. The past and the future love to chase us. The past often brings up guilt, and the future is often associated with worries. So many things have happened in our past that we often are filled with feelings that bring up guilt. We easily think, “We ought to have done this or that.” Worries can be just as bad as guilt. The worries in our lives are often filled with “What ifs.” “What if I lose my job? What if something happens to my loved one?”

Henry Nouwen in his book, Here And Now: Living in the Present, writes: “The real enemies of our life are the ‘oughts’ and the ‘ifs.’ They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. But real life takes place in the here and the now. God is a God of the present (p.18).”

Throughout the Bible there are many names and titles that describe who Jesus is, but one of the most significant names for me is “Immanuel” which means “God is with us.” It simply describes that God is here and is presently with us.

We can easily get distracted by the “What ifs” and “oughts.” It’s not so easy to stay focused on the present. Holy rest moments in our lives, filled with silence, solitude, and prayer, can help us detach from the voices of the “what ifs” and “oughts” and enter into the presence of Immanuel, God is with us. May we be encouraged to live more in the present.


~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Matthew 1:18-23

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”

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