The OMNI Presence of God

 

The OMNI Presence of God

I think about God a lot… I was thinking the other day about God and my thoughts went to Jesus on the cross…. Many believe Jesus is God, but how can a God who is one, be a God who is Jesus at the same time? This is a question that many may ask…. God in Jesus and the Holy Spirit is a dividing point between Jews and Muslims who are strict monotheists….

The passage I was thinking of in this regard is:

Eph 2:14-22

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

NIV

NIV

Many who know me know of my inclinations toward Peace…. I am a part of Circles of Peace (http://tuscaloosacirclesofpeace.blogspot.com/) which is an affiliate of FOR, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the oldest Peace and Nonviolent organization still active in the world today… Perhaps my thoughts went to this passage while I was thinking of God, just because that is the way I am, the way I have become, in my journey with God….

Some would say that we are faced with a problem, or more than one, in this passage…. How can Jesus be our peace? How could Jesus just go around making peace like this, by fiat, so it may seem? How can different peoples become one? And, how can we be a dwelling place for God? For that matter, how can One God be alive and ruling the universe, and dead and be Jesus on the cross at the same time, let alone be the Holy Spirit, and be in us too, all at the same time?

How can two be one?  How can God revealed in three persons (hypostasis) Father, Son, Holy Spirit, be one?

OMNI presence, if you will, a way Greeks like perhaps Aristotle and Plato thought about God… A way of thinking about God that has filtered down into our Western concepts of thinking, although do not really understand it, being in only one place and time at the same time….

The Apostle Paul must have thought some about this matter also…. While speaking to the Greeks, he said:

Acts 17:24-28

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28’For in him we live and move and have our being .’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

NIV

It seems we are all included… Jews, Greeks, Christians, Muslims, Everyman….. Included in the unfathomable love of God, who died for ALL, who wants to bring about Peace, not only vertically with God, but horizontally between all of us who live and move, and breath, and have our being…..

God, being OMNI present, and all of that stuff, can do it… He can be in you, in me, at the same time, otherwise, we would just evaporate into nothingness…

Then, after thinking of these things, I was thinking of how big a sinner once was, and still am, for that matter, just not quite so big as I used to be, maybe….

I used to be mean… I used to love to fight… In my teenage years I began coming to a greater understanding of the Peace and love of God for all mankind and even became a conscientious objector by the time I was 19 or 20, or so… I think one of the roots of my understanding of God came while I was a boy on our family farm in Illinois… I used to take a BB Gun out and just kill birds for the sport of it… I would take a 22 rifle out to hunt rabbits, just for the sport of it… One day while walking beside a field by burbling creek, I spotted a possum and decided to shoot it…. It did not just die all at once, as you see on TV when someone gets shot…. Nothing just dies all at once… Jesus did not die all at once… He suffered… I shot the possum… I shot the

possum several times… It did not die all at once… I thought maybe it was just playing dead and poked it until I was sure it was dead, taking what seemed to me like quite a long time to kill a possum… Now I did not need to kill that possum… I had no intention of eating the possum… I did not need the food… It gets worse…. I examined the dead body of the possum and found a living litter of baby possums in the possum’s pouch… they would also die.. They had no mother… They had no food… I felt really, really, bad… I still feel bad thinking of it. I can tell you today within just a yard or so of where all this happened… I can take you there and show you…. I am sorry… I was bad, very bad…

In time, I began to quit thinking like a boy, and began to think like a man, but these thoughts will always stay with me…

Now, when I think about God, I think about the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus… Who, has made peace with me, and with all mankind, and offered God’s forgiveness for all mankind, if we will receive it… Will some be lost? Probably, for this is a matter of a free choice to choose the peace God wants us so desperately to have, not only vertically, with Him, but horizontally, with all tribes and nations… Some may refuse this Goodness, but I believe with all my heart that it will only be a refusal after hearing the Gospel of Peace, and experiences the Peace we have in Jesus… He IS our Peace…. Let us choose Him…

Grace and Peace,

John Cooper