God is Not Elsewhere

Maybe it's just me. But I suspect you might also hear the voice of this specter as well: 

"God is elsewhere," the voice whispers with a hollow, haunting tone. Anxiety, fear, restlessness ensue.

Listening to this voice can unleash all manner of chaos in ours and others' lives. 

It might stir a restlessness within that keeps us chasing "something." The grass is always greener elsewhere. God is always doing something better elsewhere. Life is more interesting elsewhere. Happiness is just around the corner. My problems will go away elsewhere. 

Always searching, never arriving. 

The scandal of Jesus confronts and defangs this specter.

"God is not on this mountain or that mountain," Jesus Messiah says.

In fact, he is Immanuel, "God with us." 

The story we find in the Bible says that history is the tale that begins in "God with us" in the garden of Eden and ends with "God with us" in the new heavens and earth. 

"Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee," the north African bishop Saint Augustine famously said. 

Rest and peace are only possible when we meet the God who is here, the I AM who has come near, the Abba Father who embraces us now with merciful, tender, forgiving arms. 

Holy, holy, holy is YHWH Elohim, El Shaddai; the whole earth is fully of his glory. God is here. His name is Jesus, the crucified and risen one. His Spirit has come. Be not afraid little flock, he says to his children, it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.


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