I have this dear friend, Burt Rosenberg who is a Messianic Jew and a great comedian. Burt was once a guest on Dr. James Kennedy’s TV program. I have a copy of the video and in it he is telling the story about talking to one of his Jewish uncles who is challenging him to show him Jesus. The uncle is kidding around, “Is he under that glass?” “Is he under the plate?” “How about under that napkin is Jesus there?” He is kidding while he is saying this but a little sarcastic. Burt finally replies, “Do you really want me to show him to you?” The uncle, as Burt tells it, kind of shucks it off and don’t take the conversation any further. The truth of it is, many of us are looking for Jesus, but unwilling to look in the right places.
I am currently in the middle of a 96 hour span where I will get maybe 13-15 hours of sleep. I have been tired, stressed, and to say the least, looking for more hours in the day. The last few days have looked like this, I worked on Saturday night, left work directly to go to church on Sunday morning, went home, slept for three and a half hours, came into work again, work until tomorrow morning, and then home for 4 hours of sleep and back into work for another 13 or 14 hour shift. Simply put, I have been tired while a lot of things are going on. From health issues to family issues, and from church issues to work issues, there always seems to be something to take my focus off of the things God wants me to focus on.
Currently at Mosaic Church, the church I am pastor at, we are in a series I have titled called Back to the Basics. Currently we are on the section dealing with prayer. This series as a whole will end up being a 6 month series and the section just on prayer will end up being 6 weeks. Also as a part of this process, the church was voting today as to whether or not bring me on as their regular pastor, I have been serving as an interim so this was a big deal. A lot has been going on as mentioned and there has been little time to think about it all. All of this and more is going on and then out of the clear, God worked, and I once again, for one of those special moments saw Jesus.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t actually see a physical Jesus, but I did see God working. During today’s service, Rebecca one of our members and one of the folks on our leadership team kind of goes up in the middle of worship and states that she feels an oppressive attitude at church, something that is preventing us from being and doing what God wanted. She felt that someone needed prayer, and suggested that they come up for prayer during worship. A family came up right away, and I went over to pray with this family and Rebecca. During the time we were praying, I felt the Holy Spirit indicate to me, that there were others we needed to pray for. After Rebecca had finished the prayer for this family, I proceeded to the microphone where the worship team was and stated that I felt others needed to come up for prayer. For Mosaic, this was something we haven’t done much of in the past, for me, it was the first time I had done this at Mosaic.
For pastors to do things like this, allow someone from the congregation to “disrupt worship,” to change the potential order of the service, throw a kink if you will into the structure is not practiced much anymore. That is a shame, as it was indicated God was at work at Mosaic and so many churches have forgotten about letting the Holy Spirit lead them in their worship. After I had made the challenge, we had another family; and other individuals come up for prayer, for all kinds of reasons, and several of them with tears in their eyes. I was moved, I was blessed as these people I am honored to be a part of, felt called to come up, share, and be prayed for.
Things were going well when there was a pause in the time people were coming up, and I felt the hand of a friend on my back as he prayed for me. His words were inspired, and obviously from God as he prayed for specifics I had not shared and the Holy Spirit used his words to give me comfort, and I hadn’t even asked for this. God is good!
I guess one of the things I learned today, is that if we want to see Jesus, if we want to experience Jesus, we have to be willing to open up and get out of our box, or comfort zone. I know others wanted prayer, I could see it in their eyes, yet, they weren’t willing to take that step. I also know there were skeptics, as I could also see it in their eyes, but God is bigger than any of that, God is big enough to meet every individual, including the skeptic right where they are if they are willing to ask. I am reminded by the television special with Burt and his uncle. Is God under that glass? Is God there where you are, at work, or home? Does God really want to help you and comfort you? Does God really desire to have a relationship with you? Does he want to introduce you to his son Jesus? Those and others may be the types of questions you often ask, but I would challenge you with a question in return. Do you want to see Jesus for yourself? If the answer is yes, the process is simple, just ask, then open up your heart and mind, and you will see for yourself that the creator of the universe loves you more than you will ever know. You know how I know this to be true? Because today, I saw Jesus, and you can to.
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