Friday, August 24, 2012

The Power of Presence

Have you been in a situation in which you didn't know what to do or say, but had the gut feeling that you needed to stay put? It's an uncomfortable experience. And yet, the fact that you were present probably made a significant difference. More and more we are discovering the importance of presence in relationships. Several years ago people started talking about "quality time" as the key to getting along with others. The reasoning went that it wasn't necessary to spend a lot of time with people, but when you were with them, it was critical to give them your undivided attention. Tragically, people started applying that strategy with disastrous results to their family relationships. Many individuals had to learn the hard way that quality time usually doesn't happen unless we are in the presence of that person for extended amounts of time. Important moments in relationships can't be manipulated or programmed. They normally happen unexpectedly because people have committed themselves and their time to each other.

If there is anywhere that the power of presence is necessary, it is within the Church of Jesus Christ. It is so easy to view the church as an institution to which we belong as participants. And so we think that if we aren't present, it's no big deal. On various occasions, however, Jesus called the Church his body, his bride and his family. Imagine what would happen to a body if the kidney or the heart decided not to do its job one day? What happens to a family if the husband or wife decides he/she doesn't feel like participating anymore? 

Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." The church is meant to be a living relationship laboratory where we learn how to get through life together in a distinctly Christian way. Our presence is necessary for three reasons. First, we need to learn to deal with others as Christ intends. Second, God uses us to work in the lives of other Christians so that they can develop Christian relationship skills. Third, together we are meant to be a witness to the world that Christ does make a difference in the way his people get along with each--a difference so powerful that it creates in people the desire to know more about him.

Exciting stuff, isn't it? But remember, it all begins by being present. We invite you to be present with us either Saturday at 6:00 pm or Sunday morning at 10:00 am.     

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.