“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

“While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:26-29)

Lutherans believe in the real presence of Christ among us. We believe that the Word became flesh and lived among us. We believe that in the sacrament of Holy Communion, Jesus is truly present with us, offering the gifts of forgiveness and life in the body of Christ. And we believe that we are sent out to be part of Jesus’ presence in the world. In this time when physical presence with our neighbors and with our church community is limited, how do we recognize the power of real presence none the less?

Ponder one or two of these questions about how you can practice presence at this time:

How is God’s presence made known to you in this time?

How are you still present to the season of Lent, and to your walk with God, when our usual Lenten rhythms of worship have been interrupted?

If you are feeling absent from neighbors and community life, how might this be a season to become more present to yourself, particularly in your walk with Christ?

How might you continue to practice a Christian presence with neighbors in this season of social distancing?

God made flesh,

In a time that feels marked by absences of people, places, and activities,

Guide us to feel and see your presence in new ways.

Draw us home to our own presence during this Lent season:

That we might notice the spirit we carry forth into the world,

That we might become reacquainted to forgotten but important aspects of ourselves,

That we might embrace our capacity to be present to others,

Through the life-giving Spirit and presence of Christ our Lord,

Amen.