“Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
God is Everywhere
I know that God is everywhere. When I have done something wrong, I know I cannot hide from him, even though I feel like trying. No matter where I go, no matter how I try to avoid what I did, God is still there, and he knows the truth.
But I would like God to be present with me in a soothing way, not in a condemning way. I want his presence in a way that goes beyond his just being there. I want it to be something special, something good.
Jesus tells me how God achieves this special, soothing presence. Jesus invites me to come together with other people in his name.
What does it mean to come together in the name of Jesus?
The name of Jesus is his titles and everything else he has revealed to us about himself in the Bible. To come together in his name is to join with other people in listening to what God says about himself in the Bible. The good news about Jesus, the gospel, is how Jesus presents himself, with the name, “Savior.”
With these words recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is talking about church! Where the gospel is proclaimed in Word and sacrament, Jesus is present in a special way. That way is especially helpful when I have done something wrong, because the gospel tells me that Jesus has taken the punishment for my sin, and I have forgiveness through faith in him.
That way of Jesus being present is especially helpful when I am feeling lonely, because the gospel tells me that God will never leave me or forsake me. Jesus cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Because Jesus was doing that for me, God promises that he will never forsake me like that. Instead he will be with me my entire life, all the way to heaven.
I may not always feel like gathering with other people for worship in church, but I know it’s worthwhile, because Jesus promises his special presence there, and I do want to be with Jesus.
Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 533:1)
I love your kingdom, Lord, the place of your abode, the Church our blest Redeemer saved with his own precious blood. Amen.
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