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Jesus In Us - September 13, 2022

Thoughts from Pastor Lindsey.

Jesus In Us

Waiting for the elevator doors to open, my husband’s elbow jabbed into my ribs. Annoyed, I looked at him and saw his wide eyes trying to send me a message. As we stepped into the awaiting elevator I looked over at the stranger entering with us. I was looking straight into the eyes of Bishop Desmond Tutu. Nobel Peace Prize winner, legend of the South African freedom movement, adored throughout the entire globe.

We all stood there in silence as the elevator went up. I had to say something. “I don’t mean to bother you, but are you Bishop Tutu? This is an incredible honor. We are so grateful for your life and work.” Our two boys looked up. They had read about this man in their school history books. Here he was on the elevator with us!

He was very gracious and engaged us in conversation. Before we got off on our floor he suddenly said, “We must take a picture of all of us together! Wouldn’t that be nice!” Of course, we were desperate to do so and he had graciously suggested it so we wouldn’t feel like we were bothering him. Picture taken, we continued on our way to the doctor. We felt astounded to have been in the presence of one of the most famous Africans to have ever lived.

Have you ever met someone famous? That brief moment or interaction can be thrilling. It is rare to actually meet such a person. When we do, we re-tell the story at dinner parties and family gatherings. Why? Because they are human and can only meet with, relate to, and get to know a limited amount of people. The thrill is in the rarity of the moment. “I got to actually be in their presence! Shake their hand! Take a selfie with them!”

I often think of this with Jesus. I wish he was right here with me. I wish I could touch him, hear his voice, see his laughing face. I think it would be exponentially better. The reality is, Jesus knew his family would grow. Not just grow but explode.

I think of this when Jesus says the astounding statement, “It is for your good that I am going away.” How can this be for my good?! He anticipates this question. “Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (Jn 16:7)

Life is hard and will be hard, Jesus promised this (Jn 16:33). We can’t stand in line to get our ten seconds with Jesus. We won’t survive. This is why “Me in you is going to be a good as me beside you.” as Pastor Josh said.

Jesus was present among us to reveal who God truly is. Jesus left us so that he could be present among us without waiting lines, scheduled appointments or encounters cut short by the crowds.

What would our lives look like if we truly believed God himself dwells within us without separation or distance. What would your life look like if you grasped that we don’t walk away from Jesus like I walked away from Desmond Tutu. Wherever I go, He is there because He is near. God himself dwelling within myself. Not brief encounters that we tell about to our friends for years.

The next time you think, “I wish Jesus was right here with me so I could see him.” Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the truth that Jesus is, in fact, right here with you and in you. God in us is as good as God beside us. May our eyes be opened to this stunning reality. 

Pastor Lindsey Lautsbaugh