St. Hilary, the 4th century Bishop of Poitiers, writes the following:
There is no space where God is not; space does not exist apart from Him. He is in heaven, in hell, beyond the seas; dwelling in all things and enveloping all. Thus He embraces, and is embraced by, the universe, confined to no part of it but pervading all. 1
Likewise, Jürgen Moltmann writes:
‘God’s spirit fills the world and he who holds all things together knows every sound’ (Wisdom 1:7). It is therefore possible to experience God in, with and beneath each everyday experience of the world, if God is in all things, and if all things are in God, so that God himself ‘experiences’ all things in his own way. 2
In Western society there is a tendency to compartmentalize life. That is, to take life and space it out into various compartments. We take work life and separate it from home life, church life from friendship, and various other situations are often divided from each other. In doing so, we have the tendency to also take God and put Him into compartments as well. The result is the fierce division in our culture between what is “sacred” and what is “secular”. While it is important to note that there is a difference between what is sacred and what is secular, this does not mean that there is a division. God is not the world, the bible makes this clear, the pantheistic religions are proven false. But we cannot put God so far away as to say that He is not a part of the world. He is not equal to creation (e.g. God is not the trees, He isn’t “mother earth”. Earth is earth and God is God.), but at the same time, God is also not divorced from creation. God is not far away from our existence, in fact, Augustine once said that “God is nearer to me than I am to myself”. The nearness of God is sadly lost in a society which fiercely divides life into compartments.
But my hope is that we can come to learn once again that our God is Emmanuel: God with us. Life is not lived apart from God, life itself is only life if it is life in God. God is the ground of existence, the fountain of all being. Therefore, to exist is to exist in the presence of God. This nearness can be learned. We can learn to see God in all things, in the mundane and the horrific, in the happy and the problematic.
May we learn to find God in all things!
(Deism/Theism teach: God is separate from the world. Pantheism teaches: God is the world. Panentheism, however, teaches: God is in the world and the world is in God.)
Like this article? Help me expand my reach by sharing it:
[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”612658″]