The Near God

“…I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20b

“Remember, I am with you”…that is the Easter message, not the distant, but the near God – that is Easter.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Presence is a powerful thing.

As a father of young ones, how easily I see that truth in the actions and longings of my children. I myself still remember the panic and the fear that I felt as a young boy, “losing” my mom in a large store and therefore feeling the absence of her presence…the feeling of being abandoned.

We often think about our celebration of Advent as being the season of “presence”- after all, it is then when we celebrate and sing of Immanuel, “God with us!”

But there is a sense in which the season of Lent is just as much about God’s presence. Of course, there are the implications of the resurrection upon presence, namely, Jesus is alive – that is not insignificant! But even before we get to Sunday, the cross of Jesus declares to us that God is with us, that He will always be with us, that we will never be abandoned. And amazingly, it is Jesus’ own words of abandonment that proclaim to us this powerful, wonderful truth…

My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?

Jesus, as God’s Son, had known, from eternity past, unbroken fellowship with His Father…and now, because of our sin, it was gone.

What does that mean?

It means that Jesus allowed Himself to be abandoned that you might never be, not in this life, not in the next.
Child of God, rejoice and rest in His presence, now and forevermore.
~Pastor Nathan Hitchcock





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