For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)
There was a movie which released way back in 1986 that was a bit of a sleeper hit in its time – as in it wasn’t wildly successful at first, but its popularity picked up over time. Today, it lives on in countless re-airings on TV and even on streaming platforms such as Netflix. To this day, over 35 years later, one line, actually one word, from the movie will bring back nostalgia for all who have seen the flick. The movie is Ferris Bueller’s Day off, and it follows a high school senior who is famous for skipping school, and somehow getting away with it, and, instead, goofing off with his friends. OK, back to the one word. There is a scene in the film where attendance is being taken in class at Ferris’s high school. Of course, he is absent (hence the name of the movie). The teacher, in an extremely monotone voice, calls out students’ names as he takes attendance. When he gets to Ferris’s name, his last name, he says, “Bueller….Bueller… Bueller…” The teacher, in a monotone, emotionless voice, repeats it ad nauseum as if Ferris will magically appear and say “Present!” He clearly isn’t there. If you’ve never seen it, here’s a link to the clip: https://youtu.be/f4zyjLyBp64
Often times, we behave in a way just like that teacher. Maybe not in the emotionless monotone way, but we are calling out to God as if we are looking for him. We believe he’s absent or taking a day off. We get frustrated because we can’t see, hear, or feel him. But here’s the thing, God is omnipresent, which is the fancy way of saying he’s everywhere at once at all times. In other words, it’s impossible for him to be absent. As our verse today puts it, “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Jesus isn’t absent, he’s right there with you. He is among us at all times. We don’t need to doubt whether he’s on the job. We don’t need to worry that he’s taken the day off. In fact, he actually enjoys being with us. He takes delight in you. Never doubt that Jesus is present, engaged, and with you no matter where life takes you.