Day 25

God’s Presence Is with Us Always

from the reading plan

Matthew 28:16-20, John 14:15-31, John 15:1-8, John 15:26, John 16:13-15, John 20:19-21, 1 John 3:24, Ephesians 1:13-14

Someone once asked me how I would sum up the story of Scripture. While summarizing the entire narrative arc of the Bible is a difficult task, I decided to give it a shot. What I came up with was something like the following.

It’s the eternal presence of God, breaking into humanity. From Genesis to Revelation, we see an eternal God crossing time and space in a self-giving movement toward His creation. While part of the narrative sees God dwelling in specific places among specific people, the New Testament shows the presence of God includes all who have found new life in the work and person of Jesus. In the incarnation, God dwells with humanity in His body. After His ascension, the personal presence of Jesus is now found in the perpetual presence of the Spirit in those who believe. And it’s because of His Spirit that we can fully rest in Jesus’s promise to be with us “to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

Now, beyond the narrative written in the Bible, the promise of Jesus’s presence is a promise to dwell in the ordinariness of our everyday lives. This isn’t just a promise to dwell only in our worship or our sacred rhythms, (though He is certainly present there). Because Jesus dwells with us and in us by His Spirit, we are made aware of the presence of God in all things. The English anchoress Julian of Norwich is quoted saying, “The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything.” He is not separated from our experience and only in the pseudo-spiritual; He is in every facet of life. God is with us in high moments of triumph and success and in the valleys of defeat and despair. He is with us in the miraculous and the transcendent, in the mundane and the banal. He is there beside us and outside us, everyday drawing us closer to Himself.

As we live by His Spirit, Jesus’s presence sanctifies the human experience. We live as if the fullness of God is here, for we know Jesus is with us now in the present just as we will be with Him in His eternal kingdom. Now, we open ourselves up to His presence. We watch as God continues to unfold His story through us, the eternal God moving ever closer to His creation.

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