Blessed… Lo I Am With You

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. 18 Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth. 19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20  teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age” (Matthew 28:16-20, Common English Bible).

We finally come to the last five verses of Matthew. We began this study back on January 17 and with this post, I will have posted 218 posts on Matthew’s Gospel. I would never have thought there would be so many when I started.

A number of years ago I ran across a story. I even used it in a sermon. These days I can’t find it. I even spent way too much time searching the internet for the story. I wanted to give proper credit to the author. If you recognize the story I would appreciate it if you left the author’s name in the comments.

Missionaries went to China (I think) to try to convert some who lived there. They had some success and among the converts was a teenaged boy named Lo.

When Lo because a Christian he was all in and became a voracious reader of the Bible. He would stop his reading when he didn’t understand and would track down one of the missionaries and ask them to explain.

One day while reading the last chapter of Matthew he suddenly stopped. He ran to find one of the missionaries. Excited, almost to the point of being incoherent, young Lo began pointing at the verse from our lesson that says, “Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.” Only young Lo wasn’t reading from the Common English Bible. It had not yet been translated and written down. Lo was reading from the old Revised Standard Version when he came across that verse, reading it as, “and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

When Lo, read the word lo, not being a native English speaker, he didn’t know what it meant and assumed it was a message for him personally. It was Jesus saying, “Lo, yes, you young man, Lo, I will walk with you.”

What Lo grew to understand is really a message for all of us. We could fill in our name in where Lo found his name. And Jesus, calls our names and telling us God would be with us always.

That is a blessing. That is grace. It is a gift. It is also good news. And perhaps at that news, we should all get as excited as Lo.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

FYI, this brings an end to our Matthew study. I am going to take a few days off and will be back next Sunday, October 1 when we will begin a new series on the book of Jonah. The title will be “Big Fish, Big Attitude.



Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

One thought on “Blessed… Lo I Am With You

  1. Loved this story. We should do this (Place our name in the verse) for many of the verses. They all pertain to us. Thanks be to God for your faithfulness to bring us the word. Can’t wait for Jonah. I can relate to him. Kay

    On Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 4:50 AM Pastor’s Ponderings wrote:

    > revbroyles posted: ” 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the > mountain where Jesus told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped > him, but some doubted. 18 Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received > all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefo” >

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