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December 7, 2016, 12:00 AM

The Gift of the Present



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. As we continue our journey to the manger in Bethlehem may we be ever aware of the sacrament of the present moment. May we never forget that every moment on earth is a gift from God. Too often we miss the blessing of the present because our eyes are set upon some far off land. Like a child eagerly longing for Christmas morn it can be tempting to wish the present away. Yet, as Psalm 118:24 declares, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Are you rejoicing in the present moment – God’s gift to you?

Alan Watts once used a royal comparison for our moving around. A king and queen are the center of “where it’s at,” so they move with easy, royal bearing. They have no place to “get.” They have already “arrived.” Looking deeply at our lineage, we see that we are of the highest royal line: the royal image of God is in us – covered over, but indestructibly there. We need rush nowhere else to get it. We mainly need to attentively relax and dissolve the amnesia that obscures our true identity. The supernatural can and does seek and find us, in and through our daily normal experience: the invisible in the visible. There is no need to be peculiar in order to find and experience the mighty and joyous Presence of God. The Magi were taught by the heavens to follow a star; and it brought them, not to a paralyzing disclosure of the Transcendent, but to a little Boy on His mother’s knee. Let that sink in!

Jean-Pierre de Caussade states: “The present moment holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams but you will only enjoy them to the extent of your faith and love. The more a soul loves, the more it longs, the more it hopes, the more it finds. The will of God is manifest each moment, an immense ocean which the heart only fathoms as it overflows with faith, trust and love. The whole rest of creation cannot fill your heart, which is larger than all that is not God; terrifying mountains are mere molehills to it. It is in his purpose, hidden in the cloud of all that happens to you in the present moment, that you must rely. You will find it always surpasses your own wishes. Woo no man, worship no shadows or fantasies; they have nothing to offer or accept from you. Only God’s purposes can satisfy your longing and leave you nothing to wish for. Adore, walk close to it, see through and abandon all fantasy. When the present terrifies, crushes, lays waste and overwhelms the senses, God nourishes, strengthens and revives faith.”

I invite you to pray the following with me: Father, give me eyes to see and a heart to respond to all which will come to me this day. Forbid that I should miss its graces by looking ahead to some tomorrow. Let me accept the newness each moment brings with awareness and gratitude. In the Name of the One who makes all new I pray. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens


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