Sharing a God Conversation–Encountering the Everywhere God

God is EverywhereI had a great conversation today with a devoted member of SLC that I want to share.  The conversation started with a question, “Pastor, I know God dwells in us but do we dwell in God?” It is an awesome question.  My instinctual answer was a simple “yes.” I then thought of I John 4:15-16: “God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God.  So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.”[1] This amazing passage promises that when we
confess Jesus as God’s Son and love as God loves us, God not only is in us but we dwell in God.  We both then relished in this thought that each and every day we not only have the promise that God in Christ is in us but that we are surrounded by God.

CommunionI then shared how important this concept of being “in God” was to Martin Luther regarding how he viewed the Lord’s Supper.  You see Luther, as we still do today, took Jesus at his word when Jesus said, “This is my body.”  Some of Luther’s counterparts found the belief in the bodily presence of Jesus in the super foolish and impossible.  They reasoned that since Jesus was bodily in heaven at the right hand of God, there was no way for him to be bodily present down here on earth and surely not in ordinary bread and wine.  Jesus may be present via theRight Hand of God Holy Spirit or symbolically but not physically.  However, Luther rejected this spacial view of reality, believing that the scriptures teach the right hand of God is not a place but a metaphor of God’s power.  It isn’t a problem for Jesus to be in, with, and under the bread and wine because he always is already there. However, because of sin and our separation from God, we do not experience or encounter this everywhere God that “we live and move and have our being in. (Acts 17.28)” This separation or blindness is why we need Sacraments and where Jesus’ word and promise comes in.  When we take ordinary bread and wine and put Jesus’ word with it, we then do experience the presence of God in the bread and wine that we otherwise don’t. Sin blinds us to God’s presence and Jesus’ word opens our eyes. In the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, the everywhere God becomes somewhere, for us.  The infinite God becomes finite so we finite beings can encounter God.  It is awesome to know that we are surrounded by God’s presence but it is even a more profound and amazing to know that this everywhere God becomes very perceptible for us tangible beings.   Have you ever played hide and seek with a child?  You don’t hide for very long and you hide in a place where you know you will be found.  hide-and-seekThis is what Jesus has done for us in the Supper; he gives us his word that when we put his word with the bread and wine we find God-although in truth it is God finding us.  So come to the Super and commune with Christ.  It is his embrace of us – an embrace essential to our faith journey.

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Jn 4:15–16). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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