Twilight: Is He Present or Absent?
by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
These readings focus on the Holy Spirit. In the Old Covenant (or Testament), the Spirit "anoints" one person here and one there to perform a special work for God. In the New Covenant, the Spirit is "poured out" like rain on the whole church of Christ.
"Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matt. 28:20).
At his last meeting with his disciples, Jesus gave instructions that became the mission statement of the church for two thousand years: Make disciples, baptize them into the name, and teach them my way.
This remains the unfinished task of the church of Jesus Christ. Our job would be hopeless if Jesus had not added these last words: "I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Jesus did not say, "Now and then you will notice that you are not alone." No, he said, "Surely I am with you always." He will be with us day in, day out, until the age is closed and the present world has ended.
It seems odd for a person who's leaving to say, "I am always present." Sometimes, when a loved one dies, his or her presence is still felt in the house. But that is because of our fond memories and because it's impossible for us to think of this house without that person.
But here something else is going on. Jesus is no ordinary person. Today he is absent. So sometimes we say to each other: "This would not happen if Jesus were here." And we pray that Jesus might come. Yet, in another sense, we know his abiding comfort and daily presence. He is present as the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is coming; therefore we have hope. Jesus is here; therefore we are never alone.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version
Be sure to read the "Preface" and the "Acknowledgments" by the author.