Lo I Am with You

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Leviticus 21-22; Matthew 28

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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).

For those of us who are over the age of about 40 (as well as others because of their church affiliation) and grew up in the Church, there is a pretty good chance we grew up with the King James Bible and whatever Scripture we may have memorized, there is a pretty good chance you memorized it in the Elizabethan English of the King James Version.

When we read the 23rd Psalm many of us, even if we are reading from a different version of the Bible, what we read in our mind is “…Yea tho I walk through the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art with me…”

Every year on Christmas Eve, I read the Christmas story from Luke 2 during worship. I have a couple of reasons for doing that. First, I always use my great-grandmother’s Bible. My paternal grandmother gave it to me when I went into the ministry. I always use large print Bibles when I read from the pulpit and that is the only large print King James I have. There is also some sentimental value to using it. The other reason I read from King James is, when it comes to the Christmas story, King James is what most of us what to hear at Christmas time.

There is another verse (probably many more) that a lot of us memorized in a  children’s Sunday school class. It is part of today’s lesson. It is the last sentence of the last verse. You can go back up and re-read it from Common English if you would like. But the King James Version says, “…and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The story is told about a young man named Lo who lived in China who was a convert to the faith. One day he was reading a Bible with the missionary beside him who first told him about Jesus. He read that last sentence of Matthew’s Gospel and then started pulling the shirt sleeve of the missionary. “Look, look, he said, Jesus is speaking to me, “Lo, I am with you always!”

We might laugh at the simple faith. And, I would say there is a good chance the story is more legend or even parable than truth. Still, that simple faith shouts truth to anyone who reads it because Lo (the man), Jesus is with you always.

It seems to me, we all could take out the word “lo” from our reading and substitute our own name. Then it might read, “Hannah, I am with you always.” Another might see, “Bob, I am with you always.” Whether our name is Fred or Sheila or Keith or Cindy or any other names we could think of, we all trust by faith that Jesus is with us always. Really, read that verse one more time, and substitute your name for the word “Lo.” Praise God we know, God is with us.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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