January 19, 2021 – The Presence of God

How many evening mealtimes, we bowed our heads as a family and Dad would pray this prayer in Plautt Dietch (Low German).  The word, Herr, intrigued me. I waited as Dad prayed, eyes closed, and hands folded, to hear Dad say—be-share-it, and then I knew the Amen would come soon and we would eat.

My Dad was a preacher’s son, along with three brothers and a sister. Jacob B Siemens traveled as an Evangelist to Mennonite Brethren Churches in Kansas and Oklahoma. I learned a lot growing up about the history of my Mom and Dad, who were a first generation of their parents who moved here from Russia, in the 1800’s having the freedom to worship Jesus.

For a long time, I didn’t think about the word, Komm.  Then I thought about this verse, Cometo me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.

I remember the painting of Jesus standing at the door. Why didn’t He walk on in?  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and He with me. Revelation 3:20. Then. Komm, Herr Jesus means an invitation for abiding with our Lord.

My two brothers, Jim and Gene, Dad, Mom, and me made five. Yes, the verse says it is enough.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.  Matthew 18:20.

The Presence of God is to be treasured.  Ask MosesAnd as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.

The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Exodus 19:19-20.

After Moses spent time with God on the mountain, he was transformed.  When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.  Exodus 34:29.

Then God made a new covenant with His Creation, for the Jews, the Greeks, the Slaves and the Free through His Son Jesus. No one is unacceptable.  For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.  I Corinthian 12:13-14

 “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”  John 3:16-17.

Jesus taught His disciples before they crucified Him.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:26-27.

Where does this Peace come from?  It comes from following Jesus and knowing we are forgiven of our sin when we confess and follow Him. The Holy Spirit dwells within us, and gifts us with Joy of Living without anger, hatred, the desire to even the score.  When we read these two verses, we can measure the fruit of our lives. When we are One with the Lord, we enjoy reading these verses with anticipation.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24.

 The five of us gathered in the hospital room in the afternoon of a warm June day, 1979.  Dad lay in bed.  We watched as he lay quietly close to death. We wondered, how long!  As Dad took his last breath, he smiled. We wondered who he saw in his last moment on earth.

I wondered if he thought about the poem-prayer, Komm Herr Jesus…And then I remembered the words in Revelation 22:12-13, 20. 
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”   Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 Oh, the wonder of the Precious Presence of our Lord. Every time I read Ecclesiastes 3:11, I know the Lord God loves me.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 

When did we receive this gift of His Precious Presence? I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:14-16.

Before Mother died, she wrote about the Precious Presence of God in our lives in this poem.

              Precious Presence, we are kneeling, Wearied of earth’s emptiness:

              Feed us with your power, As we strive for holiness.

              Let us walk to gain perfection, More like Christ in every way,

              Till we stand in joy before You, On that great and glorious Day!

 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.  Psalm 51:10-12.