God’s Presence

Lesson 12: God’s Presence in the Christian Story

Lesson 12: God’s Presence in the Christian Story

The Bible’s core tradition proclaims God is a divine person who encounters chosen people in history. This engagement is described with great care and imagination. God comes as angels, a burning bush, volcanic fire, inspired prophets. Always the emphasis is on the message, not the messenger. God is painstakingly identified with the Word of the […]

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Lesson 11: God’s Presence Everywhere and in Everything

Lesson 11: God’s Presence Everywhere and in Everything

Although the Bible finds God’s presence primarily in the story told by a particular people about themselves, it also includes a more general picture in which God is embedded in his creation. You see that in the Wisdom tradition (Proverbs 8: 22-31), the logos theology (John 1: 1-11), various sayings of Jesus, and Paul’s use […]

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Lesson 10: Two Theories of God’s Presence

Lesson 10: Two Theories of God’s Presence

In some sense, understanding how God is present among us is more important than believing God exists. There is little or no significance in affirming a deity unless you can identify how this impacts your life. The Old Testament acknowledges this with many complaints about God being absent and not answering the cries of his […]

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Lesson 9: God’s Presence in Creation

Lesson 9: God’s Presence in Creation

When I came to Gettysburg, one very brilliant seminary professor made fun of those who talked of finding God in nature. He accused them of being pantheists who mistook beauty for divinity. At his worse, he suggested they engaged in touchy-freely religion that had nothing to do with the Christian story. He was reacting to […]

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Lesson 8: God’s Presence in Historical Events

Lesson 8: God’s Presence in Historical Events

It is Christmas Day, an appropriate time to acknowledge God is present in historical events. Our worship every Sunday recognizes this in special happenings. We read scriptural reports on God’s actions throughout the history of salvation. We profess in the creeds events in Jesus’ life. Hopefully, the pastor offers a sermon that proclaims how God […]

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Lesson 7: God’s Presence in Other People

Lesson 7: God’s Presence in Other People

As I implied last week, I began this series thinking it would be short and sweet. My intention was to focus on how God is present among us in the words of the Christian story that enable to perceive him all around us. I still think that is extremely important. However, every time I thought […]

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Lesson 6: God’s Presence in the Word (Part 2)

Lesson 6: God’s Presence in the Word (Part 2)

As usual, writing these lessons has taken me where I never expected to find myself. When I started the series, I fully intended to examine all the different ways that God is present in the Word. That would have been pretty easy as I am somewhat “known for” reminding people how important the spoken Word […]

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Lesson 5: God’s Presence in the Word

Lesson 5: God’s Presence in the Word

I belong to a tradition that claims God is primarily present among us in the spoken Word. It acknowledges the importance of the sacraments, but thinks they are ordinary water, bread, and wine unless accompanied by the Word. So, too, it recognizes the Bible as God’s Word in a secondary sort of way until someone […]

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Lesson 4: Presence in Baptism

Lesson 4: Presence in Baptism

I’ve been suggesting that our primary two considerations about the divine presence among us are God’s promise and our accurate testimony. A sacrament by definition involves the promise of God’s presence. Baptism, like Communion, is a means of grace because Jesus promised that he would be there participating in the action. The Church witnesses to […]

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Lesson 3: God’s Presence in the Communion Meal

Lesson 3: God’s Presence in the Communion Meal

If you asked most Christians about God’s presence, I suspect they would think you were talking about the Sacrament of Holy Communion. That is a good thing in as much as the meal is the central act of our worship and therefore should be where the divine is most manifest. However, it is also terribly […]

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