So, God meets us (we are told) in the midst of life. Comes to any one of us, young or old, rich or poor, busy and unconcerned or not.
Biblical stories stress God’s omnipresence at all times and a ‘nearer Presence’ sometimes.
Ordinary lives, met, shaped and challenged by a Presence.
In the great adventures of life we may find God with us. Said Ernest Shackleton as he traversed his wind-cold barren trek in Antarctica: ‘I had this enormous sense of the Presence of Another.’
Or in our everyday and everynight.
While sleeping, we may dream – waking like Jacob to conclude that ‘God was in this place and I didn't know it.’
While resting outside our home, as when the three strangers came to Abraham’s door. And one of them a theophany – a manifestation of our Lord.
At a meal as we break bread, with family, friends – invited guests and strangers. And sometimes our eyes are opened to see and understand and thrill.
A garden, even when we’re hiding or looking the other way – or just immersed in daily tasks. There comes an interruption, a discovery sought or unsought, the fruit of diligence and effort.
Sometimes in a church or temple, a thin or holy place of worship. Perhaps there, though not always, we experience God, hear His voice within, are seized in head and heart by deeper realities, so that our hands find new things to continue and to do.
In the stranger at our door, the neighbour next door, in the one who stops to help, it comes to us: -- there is Another.
In the political order and processes of the world, where comes judgment and doom, rescue and renewal. Things upside-down are set right-side-up. What a thrill it is - it will be, when all things are put right -- the whole cosmos, us included.
We explore the micro and the macro of the spheres: new lands, planets and galaxies, and find on our discovery, our arrival: Someone is already there. We're greeted by unmistakable design amid even the chaos that eventually makes sense, suggesting a Presence, an Author, a Creator, a Plan.
In a Man from a remote region of a small, occupied country and corner of the world, in Jesus of Nazareth, God came in a robe of flesh. Can anything good come from there? – from Him? Now, as so long ago? -- Ah, we think so.
That’s the Story – some of it; and there’s much, much more. Old and New Testaments – many books yet one chief Narrative - revealing golden streaks of love, mercy and restart; revealing a God Who comes near. Not to expand that Story or to change its detail at all, but to see and seek its fulfilment, we are to live into it and to build upon it – and especially to watch and wait – and welcome this Story, this Stranger, this Saviour, as similar things can happen - do happen, to us. In our own lives.
God loves. God rescues. God fixes and renews. God creates and God re-creates. God comes to us - time and again.
Responding and re-thinking (re-pense– i.e. repenting) and receiving – not recompense but reward, is - whew! - miracle, wonder, mystery. We are seized within and without, realizing that we are recipients of grace.
Millions have believed this Story and sought to act upon it accordingly. Trusting, obeying, journeying on. -- 'Seeing' God, glimpsing His Kingdom.
It’s my Story too – and I’m sticking with it.