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Ascension Day: Thursday, May 29, 2014
During this month when we mark the dedication
of the Sanctuary of Fourth Presbyterian Church
100 years ago, we share these words preached in 1914
by John Timothy Stone, Pastor of Fourth Church
Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:16–20
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (KJV)
In the great labyrinth of human experience, everyone who is thoughtful finds perplexities. … Sometime, in the great realities of God’s infinite realm, you and I will gain a sense of new power and a broader vision and a deeper insight. Then, as our eyes for the first time realize the matchless laws which govern the Creator’s mind, we will wonder that earth’s logic and earth’s philosophy were so perplexing and that they troubled us. We will wonder that we did not take God, the matchless, the eternal, the unchanging, the omniscient, the omnipotent, the omnipresent God, at God’s word and not limit our soul’s vision and our earthly field by human limitation.
Yet as vast and great as God is, God is not so vast and great a one as to separate God’s self from human trials and human hearts. And even if God has placed God’s self in the distance as far as the mind of the Infinite is removed from the finite mind, God has put God’s self in such a matchless relationship through divine affection that no human heart can begin to understand the unmeasured, unfathomable depths of the Infinite Heart.
I wish we might gain from today’s text the thought of a love which is ever present in every sense of human need, even as divine knowledge comprehends human need; that there is not a single life, or a single situation in life, or a single complication in the relations of life which the Divine Mind does not heed and is not willing to solve. “Lo, I am with you always.”
The great word of God is ALL. The great word is Omnipresent. “Lo, I am with you always.”
God, in your almighty and wise providence, let the thought ever before us this day be not the thought of a limiting humanity but of a comprehensive Deity. Where we cannot understand, help us to trust you and believe. And strengthen us to attempt the impossible for you, for with you all things are possible, you who are with us always. Amen.
Written by John Timothy Stone,
Pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church (1909-1930)
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