Thursday, 4 February 2021
The Dwelling of the LORD
Pastor Mark Tan
Luke 2:22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him (Jesus) to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
February marks the season of remembering the Lord Jesus being presented at the Temple as an infant. (Luke 2:21-40). It is also the month of romance with Valentine’s Day on the 14th and Chinese New Year 2021 on the 12th. These wonderful celebrations would be when the more traditional churches would have a Service or Mass, restaurants would be packed with couples’ reservations and our hometowns filled with the “balik kampung spirit”.
This is not the case for this year. Recent movement restrictions, especially overseas, have caused us to realise that we have taken our freedom to move and, our freedom to dwell and be somewhere for granted: our hometowns, our vacation plans, our events and celebrations. Sure, we have been “meeting” online, but it is vastly different from being at an actual event, dwelling in an actual location, and actually meeting someone face-to-face.
Thankfully, the Christian faith is not one which requires us to be at a particular place, posture, or time to experience God’s presence. Jesus is also named “Emmanuel”, which means “God with us”. God does not just hope for us to acknowledge His presence in our lives. He loves us so much that He made His presence known through His Son, Jesus, and the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. That is why when Jesus was presented at the Temple, Simeon, who had made the Temple his dwelling place, was filled with joy and sang praises to God when Jesus, the very Presence of God and the salvation for all nations, was presented in the Temple. (Luke 2:29-32)
What about now? Where can we sense the dwelling of God, especially in these troubling times? Revelations 21:3 reminds us: Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. – CSB
Therefore, we are to take courage in that no matter where we are, who we are with or how we are, it is with God’s love through Jesus Christ that we can witness the Dwelling of God and in turn, sense that closeness in spirit that we have with Him and with each other.
PRAYER (inspired by Colossians 3:16)
Heavenly Father, you are the source of peace that is everlasting. I pray that when my heart is sick and broken, you give me your presence and peace. I am thankful that you are faithful and ask for you to rule my heart. Help me to not focus on the hurt, but to focus on the peace and fulfilment that comes with being in your presence.
In Jesus’ name I ask all this, Amen.
22节 – 按摩西律法满了洁净的日子，他们带着孩子上耶路撒冷去，要把他献于主。
今年的情况并非如此。最近的行动限制，特别是在海外，使我们意识到，一直以来我们都以为行动的自由，彼此间的交流，或身处哪里，都是理所当然的。这也包括我们的回乡，度假计划，活动和庆祝活动。 当然，我们一直在网上“见面 ”，但这与参加实际活动，居住在实际位置并与某人面对面有着很大的不同。
耶稣也被称为“以马内利”，意思为“神与我们同在”。 上帝不仅希望我们承认他在我们生活中的存在。 他是如此爱我们，甚至于通过他的儿子耶稣和圣灵在我们心中的感动彰显祂的同在。 这就是为什么当耶稣出现在圣殿时，把圣殿定为他的住所的西缅充满了喜悦，并向神赞美。耶稣是神的同在和万国的救恩，
现在呢？ 我们在哪里能感觉到上帝的住处，特别是在这些令人不安的时代？ *启示录21：3 *提醒我们：_然后我从宝座上听到了大声的声音：看，上帝的住所与人类同在，他将与他们同住。