Ephesians 4:6 has been a favorite verse of mine for many years. The simple text reminds readers that God is “over all, through all, and in all.” That means He’s constantly at work in the major events that touch every one of us, as well as actively revealing Himself in small and seemingly insignificant occurrences as well. While I certainly love standing in awe of God’s bold demonstrations of His power and sovereignty, I think that I might like it more when I seem to “bump” into Him during His more subtle movements. It gently reminds me that He’s with me every single moment of every single day.
One of those moments happened during the Christmas Day service at the little country church in North Carolina where my Mom and Dad are members.
Besides enjoying the beautifully decorated sanctuary and singing all the verses (not just the chorus) of my favorite Christmas hymns, the traditional liturgical format also included communion. As is normal in many smaller congregations, the bread and wine is served at the altar (The focal point of the sanctuary), and row by row, believers are invited to come forward to take part in the Lord’s Supper.
However, my dad, who is in his 80s, is not as mobile as he once was and over the last year, it’s become too difficult for him to make his way down the aisles. So the pastor left the front of the church and brought the sacred elements to where he was. It was a simple thing… and since the room was small, it was almost not worth noticing. But as I sat there beside Mom and Dad, watching this unfold, it occurred to me … this is the Gospel story!
When we couldn’t make our way to God, He came to us!
Most of the time people feel that they are too sinful and flawed to come toward their Creator. Consequently, they choose to dwell far away, hoping for a time when they’ve straightened up enough to be worthy enough to approach Him. But that’s a flawed understanding of the story of Jesus.
The Apostle Paul reminded us that sin interferes with our ability to reach God (Rom. 3:23), and that there’s nothing that we can do to lift ourselves from our position and propel ourselves toward Him. (Rom. 5:6) But, seeing our powerless condition, His great love motivated Him to leave heaven (the focus of the Universe) and come to us (Rom. 5:8), and through His mercy, give us what we could never provide for ourselves. (Eph 2:4)
So if you are not strong enough to make it to God on your own (and no one is), then stay where you are. Let Him come to you. His body was given for you. His blood was shed for you. Poured out for the forgiveness of your sins. (Matt. 26:26-28) Believe, and then gratefully receive what He so freely offers.
For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” – John 6:33