Presence

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)

You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. You shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a moulding of gold round it. You shall make round it a rim a handbreadth wide, and a moulding of gold round the rim. You shall make for it four rings of gold, and fasten the rings to the four corners at its four legs. The rings that hold the poles used for carrying the table shall be close to the rim. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, and the table shall be carried with these. You shall make its plates and dishes for incense, and its flagons and bowls with which to pour drink-offerings; you shall make them of pure gold. And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me always. (Exodus 25:23-30)

Now if I have found favour in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favour in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people. He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:13-14)

The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.” (Luke 1:19)

Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.” (John 8:34-38)

For Contemplation

The Bible records for us the attempt of human beings to understand God’s presence and the ways in which God engages us during the course of our lives. At the beginning of our spiritual development we tend to understand God apart from ourselves, and we create special places of worship trusting that God answers our call and comes to us. God nourishes us and we grow to understand that it is God who feeds us through the life-giving properties of food. We experience God’s presence with us wherever we travel if we are willing to seek God’s expression. It is through our acknowledgment of God’s presence that God is able to do the work of transformation in us. God’s presence is a renewing power that gives us rest. Jesus uses his authority to remind us of our knowledge of God’s presence. Sin gives the effect of separating us from God, but we are freed from separation through the work of Christ within us. When we practice the presence of God, we strengthen our connection to the source of all life. Our will and our intention, when rooted in the knowledge of God’s presence, help maintain us on the path toward the completion of our purpose. Finally, our constant awareness of the presence of God brings us peace.

Prayer

God of presence and being, we live because of the life that you have given us. May we be mindful of the power and love that surround us within your presence. Trusting in your care we surrender to you, knowing that with our surrender come freedom and love to nurture us. May our words, our thoughts, and our actions reflect your righteousness. When we tire, or face difficulty, we will turn to you trusting that your presence will nourish us physically as well as spiritually. Let our practice of your presence strengthen us, especially in those moments when our selfish behavior hinders our ability to become a moral presence in the world. With your help, may we be a force for the highest good and a reminder of your loving presence. Amen.

From The Readings

2011-15 It is true that there are many qualities that are part of what some people call the Godhead or the fullness of God and the manifestations of God. You and Jeffrey have chosen a path where the Trinity is the dominant manifestation of God in your lives. You have a sense of God as that fabric that ties everything together—the underlying unity, the oneness of all things—and you have a sense of the incarnation of God and Jesus Christ. But you also understand this as the realization of God in human form. And you understand the work on the path to become one with God in the same manner as Jesus, following in his way. And then there is the Holy Spirit, which is like the movement of God from inside a human being to the forces of nature, to spoken words. Jeffrey is aware of this because he intuitively understands those parts of the Bible where the prophet speaking will say, “The Spirit of God is upon me,” or, “The Spirit of God is in me.” This is not a boast, it is simply an acknowledgment of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit and the understanding that it will then act or have influence through the words and actions of the person who is able to call the Spirit forward, call the Spirit and ask for its presence in that moment. This spiritual manifestation of God is very important to Jeffrey. Praying for the presence of the Holy Spirit is a powerful healing tool and should not be treated lightly. You may call for the Holy Spirit when needed, because you understand that Jesus has said he will send his help and he sends an advocate for you. You may cause this Spirit to be present through your prayer, through your petitions and intercessions made on behalf of those needing healing in the world, and you may call for this healing presence with Jeffrey, knowing that the healing required is more of a spiritual healing than a physical healing. The physical healing will correspond to the spiritual healing or the transformation inside of Jeffrey. These strains [ways of healing] require time for the spiritual understanding to become embodied, and this is true of the healing period of almost all injuries or illnesses. Patience with the manifestation of the physical body is the lesson in itself.

2012-25 Making progress for you and Jeffrey depends so much on practicing the presence of Christ. It is good that these are always incorporated into prayers and the meditation, for this is a place where a universal energy exists, a powerful energy, a very transforming kind of energy exists for you and for others.

2012-231 Understand that the mystical presence of Christ is constantly by your side and by Jeffrey’s side. You may think of this completely as if a person is standing next to you, such that you could turn and speak to them. The level of help that is available to you through your prayer, through your meditation and the time that you spend speaking and listening to God, is full of enormous possibility and opportunity. If you can find ways to acknowledge this presence, calling attention to it in private moments with each other and with those you believe to be compatible in thoughts and deeds, will only be of help to you.