I guess just to get the logistics out of the way before I share from my heart, I just uploaded today's sermon onto my podcast. I added a new feature (on the right ... look for the thing called "My Offering to God") so you can just click the media player to hear the latest sermon, but for those who use iTunes and still want to download the MP3, you can visit my iTunes podcast link here (it might take a day or two to show up on iTunes though). And now to what I really wanted to share ...
God really ministered to me today even though I was the one called upon to minister. I was SOOOOO happy to see so many old friends come and visit during the morning and afternoon services. Some of them I haven't seen for months but seeing them today made me realize how much I missed them ... their fellowship, their friendship and simply their presence in my life. Worshiping God together again was sweet ... and spending time in fellowship afterwards confirmed that they still hold a very special place in my heart.
Seeing the Face of God
I've missed being in a close-knit community for so long (almost a year and a half) that having so many loved ones around me was almost an emotional overload (in a good way) =) I understood in a new way what Jacob felt when he was reunited with his brother and declared, "to see your face is like seeing the face of God." [Genesis 33:10] The love, care and support symbolized by their simple presence was a manifestation of the kindness of God through them ... to me. The message of kindness I was preaching about today, was the same message God was speaking to me. It was a reminder that "the LORD has not stopped showing kindness" to His people ... to His children ... and even to me. [Ruth 2:20]
He has showered over me with His "radical kindness" [hesed] ... and for that I am led to run to God again ... to find my rest and shelter under His mighty wings. And with my heart at peace, I can say with confidence that "surely mercy and goodness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." [Psalm 23:6] So thank you to everyone who came to visit. You were the "hesed" of God to me today.
Window in the Skies, Pt. 1
Can't You See What Love Has Done