He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross! ~ Philippians 2:8
READING: John 13:1-17
Presence is the greatest of all gifts. It is given by parents who are attentive to their children, by waiters who refill empty water cups and by pastors who listen actively to a distraught mother. To be present is to serve; to be present is to die to self. We see presence in its most complete form on the cross. Jesus was so present to us that he literally died.
God calls us to be present in this world, the very presence and reality of Jesus in us. The nature of a leader’s presence has a quantity and a quality, that is, a quantity of engagement and attentiveness and a quality of response. How much are you present?
And what is actually present? Our love? Our anxiety? I may think I am present but my presence can be hijacked by my anxieties, and it is no longer I that am attentive and responsive but rather my anxieties. Jesus attends to us without burdening us with an overlay of his own emotions. He does not anxiously react but operates out of a framework of love and true identity.
Your presence is the key to greatness. If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be the servant of all; start by being present. Your presence will allow you to see and respond to opportunities that you previously raced past.
What is the nature of your presence? How much and how are you present? Presence is the key to good leadership because to lead is to serve.
Jesus, Even now, I am hardly here. But you are with me and in me, attending to my prayer. In all of my ambitions and desires, help me to consider the nature of your presence. Amen.