November 2014

\"I am th e Almighty ... I will walk to and fro among you\"
[Revelation 1.8] and Leviticus 26.12
(quoted in 2 Corinthians 6.76)

It makes little sense to be lieve and trust in a God who is conceived as simply being unalterably majestic, eternally remote, hopelessly unreachable, and terrifyingly powerful. Nor do es it make sense to believe and trust in a God who is gratifying biddable, easily manipulated, and readily depicted as a statue, a painting - a human figur e just like the rest of us. Yet there is some truth in both these perceptions of the Divine Reality. And it is the genius of the Bible that it holds both t hese ideas in balance and invites us to explore each of them and relate them to our own experience of life and of the world we inhabit.

For all who l ive in the household of faith, God unquestionably exists beyond the reaches of human thought, and ultimately all speech about God must end in awesome silen ce. His all-power as creator and sustainer of all creation is beyond doubt. So the first part of our composite Saying is unassailably true and, in a sense, unsurprising. The second part is also true, and very surprising! It is also challenging and perhaps disturbing. A remote almighty God is easier to come to terms with than a God who makes it his loving business to engage and interact with humankind. The Old Testament sets the scene, telling about God shortly after the act of creation. As the story goes, God is walking in the garden of Eden \"at the time of the evening breeze\" (Genesis 3.8). That\'s the start of it. There then ensues throughout Scripture a series of significant and often judgmental encounters between God (sometimes represented by angels) an d key individuals, culminating in the unique event of Jesus the Christ, walking the roads and byways of Palestine.

Silent contemplation of this Sayin g will enlighten our minds to understand more of this wonderful puzzling Deity. It will strengthen our hearts to know him \"more dearly\", and energise our wills to respond more readily to his demands and loving judgment.