Go, I am With You – Reflection for 10 FEB 2019
In our Old Testament reading today, the Lord manifests Himself to an insecure youth from an insignificant family and greets him as a mighty warrior. Israel had followed the gods of the people around them and forsaken the true God. God had withdrawn His protection and sent a foreign nation to oppress Israel. Now, in the midst of poverty and oppression, God had called Gideon to lead His people into freedom.
It is tempting to get caught up in the miraculous ways in which God delivers Israel through Gideon and miss the Good News. The Good News is not that the Lord accepted Gideon’s offering in a flash of fire nor in the defeat of the Midianites. The Good News is that God promises to be with Gideon and with Israel. As Gideon recognizes and receives this Good News, he responds in worship declaring that the Lord is Peace.
That same Good News came to us in the Incarnation as Jesus, Immanuel, the Lord With Us and the heavenly host cried out to a world in poverty and oppression, “Peace.” After the resurrection, Jesus sent out the Apostles, insecure and insignificant, with His Peace and the assurance of His presence.
“I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21)
We need to still hear this Good News today. We can still fall victim to the worship of the idols of this world and feel abandoned by God. It is easy to look at ourselves as insignificant and insecure. It is tempting to miss the presence and peace of God in the distractions of the day.
However, we are still invited to hear and receive the Good News of God With Us and respond in worship. As the Church, we inherit that same commission and that same promise today. We will pray today again that “He may dwell in us and we in Him” and that He would “send us out into the world to do the work you have given us to do.”
We go in confidence of the Good News that God is with us and the He is Peace. May it be so.