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Summary: God is everywhere in his creation. God is present in every event, not only in every sunrise, but in every sunset, and every high noon, and indeed in every moment and in every second.

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Omnipresence

Psalm 139:7-12

02/13/05

2317 words

7 Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,

10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,"

12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Where is God? That is obviously an important question. Almost twenty years ago, I was on a backpacking expedition into the extreme northwestern corner of our state. By the time we drove over to the area, parked our cars and donned our backpacks, it was already late afternoon. We walked a few of hours, and it was totally dark. We pitched camp in the dark. That is not a fun thing to do, but somehow we got it done. We sat by the fire and talked for awhile, and eventually climbed into our sleeping bags. I woke up about dawn. We had not realized it, but the previous night when we made camp, we were on the eastern slope of a small mountain. In the morning, the view was spectacular. The sun was coming up all red and orange and gold into what promised to be a clear day. I had a long view down a green valley. It was beautiful, and I felt the real presence of God. That moment became emblazoned on my mind as a God moment, one of those times that I knew that God was real and God was with me.

On Monday of this week, here in York, SC, I walked outside about sunrise, a little before 7 o’clock. The sun was coming up in the east all red and gold. The air smelled fresh. It promised to be a beautiful day. And, once again, I knew the presence of God. I knew that God was there and God was with me. I remembered that earlier vision I had of God in the mountains, and I thought God is just as real and as present to me on this morning in York, as he was on that morning in the mountains of Tablerock State Park.

Where is God? God is everywhere in his creation. God is present in every event, not only in every sunrise, but in every sunset, and every high noon, and indeed in every moment and in every second.

Scientists tell us that the smallest subatomic particles are quarks. They recognize six kinds of quarks that make up the neutrons and protons of the nucleus of an atom. Now realize that our most powerful microscopes can barely make out the nucleus of the largest atoms, and we certainly cannot come close to seeing a neutron or a proton, and quarks are the things that make up neutrons and protons. But God is present even to each quark. God is present to the smallest things of the universe and to the largest things. The largest thing in our solar system is the magnetic sphere surrounding the planet Jupiter, which is ten times as large as the sun. God is present in that magnetic sphere.

This is what theologians call the doctrine of omnipresence. Back in 1788, John Wesley wrote a sermon “On the Omnipresence of God” [Sermon 111]. He called it a “sublime subject.” He used as his text Jeremiah 23:24, "Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord." Wesley says, “there is no point of space, whether within or without the bounds of creation, where God is not.”

Some folks have the idea that certain places on the earth are more sacred, more filled with the presence of God than others. For example, we call Palestine the Holy Land. Obviously we call it that because the events of the Bible took place in that area, but really that area is no more holy than any other area. When you consider the amount of blood that has been shed in that place, you could argue that a better title would be the God-cursed or God-forsaken Land.

In the religion of Islam, every Muslim is supposed to visit Mecca at least one time in his life if possible. The belief seems to be that God is in Mecca in special way, and you get a special charge out of going to that city in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. Not so. God is no more in Mecca than he is in York. Let me state that positively: You can find just as much of God in York, as you can in Mecca, or Jerusalem

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