April 16, Sunday

The AMI QT Devotionals April 10-16 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston.  David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace who teaches at a public school.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR THE PASSION WEEK

“Recognize His Presence”

John 20:14-16

Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

In the summer of 2011, my dad and I were having a father-son lunch, when we ran into a couple of my dad’s friends. Father-son time turned into three old men talking, while I just sat silently and smiled. But I didn’t mind because of who showed up next. The fifth member of our lunch party appeared a few minutes late, but it was MC Hammer. Apparently, the other two men were scheduled to have lunch with him, and they all just decided to join us! I remember being so star-struck, I couldn’t believe I was sitting across from Mr. Hammer himself! In short, it was an exciting lunch for most of the people sitting at the table. The only person who had no clue what was going on was my dad. He had never seen nor even heard of MC Hammer. I was so embarrassed on behalf of my dad, who asked Hammer silly questions like, “So, what do you do?” After lunch, as we hopped into the car to go home, I had to give my dad a briefing on American pop culture, and who it was that we had just eaten lunch with. Only after seeing the numerous YouTube videos, and beholding the sheer fame of MC Hammer, did my dad realize that he had failed to recognize the presence of an iconic star.

On the first Easter Sunday, Mary didn’t recognize Jesus either. Even after seeing Him and hearing His voice, she mistook Him for a common gardener. She asked Him silly questions like, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him….” It wasn’t until Jesus said her name, “Mary,” that she recognized that she was in the presence of Jesus.

In a similar way, we often fail to recognize the presence of God in our lives. And when we don’t recognize His presence, we are missing out on the opportunity to do life with God. Sure, we believe that He is omnipresent, and we teach children that He is always with us. But the reality is that we often live as though His presence is far off and rarely relevant to our daily lives. But Jesus did not resurrect so we might merely know some facts about Him. He intends for us to live in the reality of His presence, daily. Today we are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. May we hear God calling out our names, and let us remember that He is indeed alive and with us each day!

Prayer: Jesus, we celebrate your resurrection today. You are the risen King! Holy Spirit, help us to live today, and each subsequent day, in the fullness of Your presence. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Leviticus 8; John 20

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