And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- Matthew 28:20b
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Deuteronomy 31:6
A while back, maybe two Sundays ago, we had some snow, two or three inches. If you could get out of your driveway, the roads were clear. We went to the early service and after sweeping the snow from the car, we got into the church about ten minutes before the service was supposed to start. The usher at the front door greeted us, took our temperature, and we signed in. But at the entrance to the sanctuary, the second usher had not gotten the bulletins. We seated ourselves anyway. The usher came in a couple of minutes later and gave us bulletins. Now just about five minutes before the service and still the only ones in the sanctuary. After thanking the usher, my wife and I sat back down. She read the announcements, and I created a header in my notebook – sermon title, date, who the speaker was, and the Scripture used.
Suddenly, from the back of the room, we heard a familiar voice, “Hey! Rackleys! You are not alone anymore!”
I stood, turned around, and saw a couple from our Sunday school class. I replied, “And it is glorious that you have come to church on such a blustery day, if for no other reason, to ensure we are not alone. I thank you.”
They laughed. The usher laughed. The other woman that the usher was leading to her pew laughed.
My wife rolled her eyes. It is not that my wife has lost her sense of humor, but she thinks that occasionally I should try to use the type of reverence that does not have an “ir” in front of it. When I use the reverence with the “ir” in the front, she usually punctuates what I said with an “irrrr” afterwards – that and a stern look.
Very few more showed up. Many could not trust the roads to be clear of snow and ice. Indeed, it was a bit dicey on the way home after Sunday school (snowing heavily throughout the Sunday school hour), but most people are staying home due to COVID. The snow just made it more sparse.
Yet, in Sunday school, I told the couple that my wife and I were not alone, for Jesus was with us. The husband wholeheartedly added an “Amen,” something not done often in a Presbyterian church.
Funny, the subject of our discussion in Sunday school was that the apostles gathered in the Upper Room and prayed for ten days, between the ascension and Pentecost. We talked about prayer and how to get more out of our prayer life. Indeed, we talked about how Jesus is with us and we need to talk to Him just like we would talk to our best friend.
When I was a little child, I was so conditioned by my parents to think that if I was left alone, I would get into mischief. I found it an inconvenience to know that God saw my every move and heard my every thought. I was being suffocated when I was “all alone!” God was Everywhere!!!!
Now, I find comfort in it, and God keeps me focused better when I feel His presence.
We are never alone. God has promised and God lives by His promises.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.