where is God now?

24 Mar

As I am reflecting and learning about God’s character and faithfulness this semester, post-Cambodia, through my classes and volunteering at various places, I see this question of ‘where is god’ pop up over and over. Throughout the Bible, history and the today in the 21st century people in times of hurt, pain and confusion ask this timeless question. .

Today I read this wonderful idea and interpretation of God. Looking at the parable in Matthew 25, God takes on an unlikely appearance of the poor, hungry, prisoner, sick, vulnerable. God has designated the poor as his ‘receivers.’ … Since we cannot express our love by doing anything to profit God directly, God wants us to do something profitable for the poor, who have been delegated the task of receiving Christian love. … According to this parable (Matthew 25:31-46 // Sheep and the Goats), Jesus knew that the world he left behind would include the poor, the hungry, the prisoners, the sick. The decrepit state of the world did not surprise him. He made plans to cope with it: a long-range plan and a short-range plan. The long-range plan involves his return, in power and great glory, to straighten out planet earth. The short-range plan means turning it over to the ones who ultimately usher in the liberation of the cosmos. He ascended so that we would take his place. … ‘Where is God when it hurts?’ I have often asked. The answer is another question, ‘Where is the church when it hurts?'” (p. 231-233)

Thanks to Philip Yancy’s book, The Jesus I Never Knew, for that insight into God’s love for his creation.

Matthew 25:31-46 // When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

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