As we walked out of the nursing home chapel after conducting our Sunday morning service yesterday, a dear lady we refer to as "Miss Marie" accompanied us. Miss Marie is in good health despite having suffered a stroke several years ago, and lives in an apartment in the assisted living section of the facility. She requires a cane for walking, and her speech is a bit slurred, but she does very well and is a very sweet person. Most importantly, Miss Marie loves the Lord Jesus Christ, and her presence greatly blesses our meetings.
As we walked with Miss Marie and enjoyed her fellowship, I realized that the moment was a gift from our Lord, as are many moments we experience with her and others at the facility. Moreover, the thought occurred to me that the Lord Himself graced us with His presence, causing our fellowship to be more, far more, than simply a pleasant human experience. The thought occurred to me, "This is a moment of Christ," and indeed, it was.
"And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?" (Luke 24:32).
God provides many such moments to His trusting children along the pathways of our lives. As did our brethren of old, we often fail to recognize the presence of the Lord Jesus in our midst, focusing on the human elements of experiences graced with the Divine. "We see through a glass darkly" declared the Apostle Paul, who included himself among those whose spiritual vision remains hindered and far less than it will one day be (I Corinthians 13:12). Thus, we must often remind ourselves and each other that the God who numbers the hairs of our head intimately involves Himself as the true Blessing of our blessings.
Several years ago, during a visit to Boston, we attended the symphony on a rare night when John Williams conducted the orchestra (he's now retired). I'll never forget the beauty of the first notes that sounded, and of all that followed. Far more, however, I won't forget my response to the moment. "Lord, You are so beautiful!" Throughout the performance, the words kept ringing through my heart and mind as I experienced one of those rare (for me) times when I keenly realized the human and earthly as the vehicle for the Divine and heavenly. It was truly a moment of Christ, as have been countless others in my life that I failed to so clearly recognize.
I believe we should expect such moments, while resisting the temptation to manufacture or rely upon them. Our Heavenly Father graces us with Himself all along the way of life. However, we're not meant to constantly see what and how He works because we presently "walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). We therefore anticipate moments of Christ, but with a tempered and reasoned confidence whereby we experience our Father's opening of our eyes when and as His purposes allow. Such expectation helps us to be ready so that we will not miss the Blessing that resides in the blessing. Moments of Christ - perhaps today the Light of heaven will pierce through earthly skies to grace us with a time wherein God becomes so obvious that we clearly recognize how near to us He has drawn, and how "in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
"In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore."