The word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David, This is the word of the Lord: Are you the person to build a house for me to live in? Down to the day I brought Israel up out of Egypt, I have never lived in a house, but have journeyed in a tent and tabernacle. Wherever I journeyed with Israel, did I ever ask any of those I appointed as leaders to shepherd my people Israel: Why haven’t you built me a house of cedar? 2 Samuel: Chapter 7, Verses 4 to 7.
Where do we find God? The answer is, of course, everywhere. Yet although we know that to be true, we can act sometimes as though reality is otherwise. We treat ‘Church’ as if God is especially present there as if meeting together once a week somehow gives us special access in a way no other situation can offer. In worship we do set aside time for God and may be particularly conscious of God’s presence, but as in the fascinating words of Nathan to David above, this can run the risk of getting things back to front.
David wanted to build a glorious temple in Jerusalem where people could honour God. His motives were laudable enough, but as Nathan reminded David, his scheme for the temple overlooked the fact that God could never be tied down to one place. God was constantly travelling along with God’s people through all their ups and downs throughout history. Whatever people had faced, wherever they had found themselves, God was there with them.
For the Israelites, God’s presence was symbolised by the Ark of the Covenant that they carried with them throughout their journey in the wilderness. For us today it is experienced even more closely through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Where do we find God? In Church, certainly, in times of quiet prayer and reflection, there too; but God is present throughout our lives, in the supermarket, in the doctor’s surgery, in the family gatherings, in the night shelter. God is there, involved in every aspect of every day and night.
Wherever we are, whatever we experience, God is there waiting to meet us!
God bless you.