Fatherhood & Faith

Being Present

Post by the Husband

“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!”

Psalms 100 : 1-2

We all know that God is “Omnipresent”, meaning that He is everywhere — and that human beings are in stark contrast to God because we are certainly not everywhere.

Now, prior to the social distancing measures, we certainly have tried to be in as many places as possible.

We fly around the world, visit each other and travel many kilometres in an attempt to have our presence in many places.

We also love our digital presence via social media and Hollywood talks about “screen presence” while businesses want to dominate their “presence” in different markets.

And to be honest, most of us struggle with being stuck at home every.single.day, because plainly speaking — we want to be present with others and to be in the presence of others. Sharing our presence allows for interaction and a nurturing of thoughts, ideas, feelings.

And as much as I have enjoyed telephone calls and video conference calls with patients, friends and family, there really is nothing like “face-to-face” interactions.

When we are face-to-face, there is a certain x-factor which is very difficult to explain.

It’s not just the body language, because you can get that on a screen, or verbal interactions, because we do have audio on zoom.

It’s not even just the fact that the person is in 3 dimensions versus 2 dimensions on a screen, there is something more than that.

It is the idea of a shared space; breathing the same air (which in this pandemic is avoided of course!), and the beauty and uniqueness about being…together.

So here we come to this Psalm, and it says: “come into His presence with singing”.

Firstly – we need to “come” because we can’t be in two places at the same time. We have to choose to be somewhere, to be in a single place. We need to bring our attention to the One who is already here. We don’t need to take a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or even to our local church building; we are able to simply “come” to Him in our bedroom, or living room.

Now – if we are to come into God’s presence, there must be the proper attitude and tone to the event. For example, if we were to come into an earthly world leader’s presence, let’s say the Queen, we must have some objective to the meeting, and perhaps to be able to present something to her. The Psalm says we can walk into God’s presence with singing!

Now surely not everyone in Israel was a “good” singer. So what then is this singing all about?

Would you wander into the presence of the Queen and burst into a song? Unless you were Celine Dion, or some other ultra-talented singer, you would probably refrain from breaking out in a melody. It would certainly be entertaining, but in an awkward-everyone-laughing-at-you sort of way, or until the security guards escort you out of the room.

Yet God wants us to come to Him – the King of the Universe in a song. 

Hmm, what sort of song?

“Make a joyful noise, all the earth”. 

God tells us to be both joyful and noisy.

Joyful because He has done great things for us and noisy, because He wants us to come to Him loudly and lavishly!

The closest non-church thing I can think of to illustrate the point are the songs that seem to break out at random times in stadiums when people are singing joyfully for their football teams. It sure is noisy and joyful! The other time is at birthday parties when people sing “happy birthday” and then cheering at the end with “hooray!!!”. 

This is the type of joyful singing that I believe the Psalmist is referring to, and this is the attitude in which we can come into God’s presence. 

Now of course you cannot simply generate excitement and happiness in the flesh; it comes as a result of truly understanding who God is.

Yet the word “make” here is telling us to generate the noise of joy and singing as we come into God’s presence. So we do need to make a decision to “make” this noise. 

As you sit in your home, perhaps thinking about a million and one things, I encourage you to bring your presence into His presence. Pause at this time from the news, from calculating your superannuation on your spreadsheets or mindlessly watching YouTube, and come.

Come into His presence and sing a song of praise to Him. 

Know that He is indeed with you, but you need to make an effort to be with Him because you can only be in one place at a time.

And think about how good God is and break out into a joyful song for Him. 🙂  

2 thoughts on “Being Present

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