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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Up The Hill

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[January 13, 2010]   -- "O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling."-Psalm 43: 3

RestaurantI was at the Illinois football game last Saturday morning and as the Illini did their best welcome mat impression I wondered to myself, "why do I show up for this?" I mean, even if the team I was supporting was winning, why actually go to a game? Think about it. I could watch the game on TV for free or I could drive to the stadium, pay for parking, tickets and food. Why not just stay home? The reason, for me, is that being at the game, with the crowd, feels different. When my team scores and I celebrate in the quiet of my own living room amidst the disinterest of my family it feels like something is missing. But being at the game, with the band and the crowd and the electricity that goes along with that many people in one place is an irreplaceable sensation. I can literally feel the difference.

And it is this feeling that I think many of us seek in the life of faith. It is one thing to pack our minds full of Bible quotes and stories and to-do-lists. It is quite another to feel the Holy Spirit blow through our lives. This feeling, the sensation of the presence of the living God, is what the Psalmist seeks in today's Psalm. He or she is seeking the truth and light that is part and parcel of experiencing God. And we seek the same. The truth is God's presence is always with us and when we cannot feel it or do not experience it is our fault, not God's. To experience it we need only quiet all those other noises and voices around us and place God back at the center of our lives. From here we can experience once more the sensation of God's presence, the sensation that comes only from going to the game, so to speak.

Prayer: Holy God, may your Spirit descend upon me and may I know your presence in my life. Help me, O God, to find you in my life and in this world and, that finding you I might serve you. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

[text from file received by Phil Blackburn, First Presbyterian Church]

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