Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Reality of Real Presence: A Few Thoughts on "Immanuel"

Geese, on the River Raisin

I just finished breakfast, and am in our upstairs office. I'm reading Scripture - Job, and the Psalms - and listening for God.

Then, I read out of the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1.

All this took place to fulfill what had been 
spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, 
and they shall name him Immanuel,” 
which means, “God is with us.”

It hits me. God is with me. Now.

I've known this for almost forty-eight years. I tell others, "God is with you." But I need to hear it, over and over and again and again, for myself.

"John...    I...   the Great I AM...   am with you...   the lower-case i am...  now...   in your home office...  this day...  presently..."

Not in theory. A lot of good that would do! Not a cliche, not a slogan, not a platitude, not a wish. 

Dallas Willard writes:

“The kingdom is available now; I just have to want it more than I want anything else. The Trinity is right here. I don’t have to wait. I don’t have to be preoccupied. I don’t have to have anything solved. In fact, I could say to the world, “Go ahead, bring it on, because nothing can separate me.” I just have to want it more than I want anything else. I just have to say, “With God’s help in this moment, I will refuse to allow anything to sever that from me.” (Willard, Living in Christ's Presence, p. 105)

 John Jefferson Davis writes: 

“The believer is really, truly, factually, ontologically united in communion with all three persons of the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This truth of the believer’s new state of being precedes and is the proper foundation of any particular act of worship.” (Worship and the Reality of God: An Evangelical Theology of Real Presence, Kindle Locations 745-746.)


God... with... you... this very moment... in the room...  deep within you...  now...  presently...  no matter your circumstances...  no matter your concerns...  

Real presence. This is the primal truth I am to hold tightly to. It makes all the difference in how I live this day.