If I were to ask you all the question “Have you ever experienced the presence of God in your life” there would obviously be a huge range of replies, but I am going to make a bold statement.
Everyone in this Marquee has experienced the presence of God in their life!
How and when did that happen you might want to ask?
Well let me re-phrase the question.
How many people here have experienced Love in their life – either in the giving or receiving or more naturally both.
John writes in the Bible that God is Love and therefore Love is God.
When you experience Love in any true sense you are experiencing the presence of God who is the first cause, sustaining presence and driving force of the future of the whole universe.
The universe was created in Love, is sustained by Love, and is redeemed in Love. And love can be defined as a relationship expressed and made real in unselfish service to the other, without counting the cost.
John goes on the write “If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us”
Love is multi-faceted and shouldn’t be conflated to become synonymous with romantic feelings, rainbows and ribbons. Love is tough and costly.
The supreme symbol of Love in Christianity is not hearts and flowers, it is a man flogged to within an inch of his life, mocked, spat upon and then nailed to a piece of wood to die by drowning in his own blood.
In submitting to such a torment, Jesus spelled out to us the limitless love of God. This was a shocking demonstration of the length, breadth and depth of the Love of God shown to us in a human life.
In that shocking event, we believe that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself as St. Paul put it.
Loves ultimate expression is complete self-sacrifice for us. This is the God we worship and sing praise to, sing hymns to, pray to, kneel to, and to whom we return His Love in our own sacrificial way.
God cannot die or be replaced because Love cannot die or be replaced. In a few moments we are going to sing “Be still for the presence of the Lord”. We will sing of his presence, his glory and his power.
This is not a theory – we are singing of a presence, a glory and a power that you all already know and all of you have already experienced in your heart.