One day in seminary a student asked a prominent theology professor, if we believe that Jesus is bodily resurrected and profess in the Apostle’s Creed that he “sitteth on the right hand of the father,” where is he? The professor took a deep breathe and then responded “class dismissed” with a chuckle in his voice, leaving us to discuss this issue.
While any attempt to explain this will fall into speculation, it does touch upon a very critical spiritual and pastoral question: where is God? Is He residing way above us and distant from us or is He down on the ground with us and nearby?
It is interesting to notice that scripture, like my professor, does not give us a clear answer but allows us wrestle with the fact that God is both removed and intimately nearby. Christianity is unique in its belief that God is set apart—universal to time and space—but also engaged in every moment of our lives—particular to our experiences.
Strangely this tension can give us tremendous comfort. On the one hand we can be assured that God is sovereign over all things and as Paul professes: “we know that all things work together for good for those who love God.” On the other hand, we can be comforted that God is walking alongside us through the highs and lows of life, because as Jesus Christ, God experienced the highs and lows.
Are you more likely to believe that God is removed from your daily life or actively involved?
Where is God in your life? What role does he play?