Specifically everywhere.

Those of us who talk about God often talk about God being omnipresent, or everywhere. This is one of three omnis, the other two being omniscient (all knowing) and omnipotent (all powerful). When we talk about God being everywhere, there is a sense of size and of spiritual presence, but there is also a vagueness. A sentence like, “In him we live and move and have our being” doesn’t really clarify the vagueness.

Sometimes those of us who talk about Jesus talk about incarnation, about Jesus putting on a body and walking around on earth. God becomes personal. In Jesus, people are able to talk face-to-face, to touch, to argue with God. When we talk about God being personal, we are encouraged by accessibility, by specificity. But Jesus isn’t walking around right now. And so we’re back to vagueness.

When Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit coming to his followers, he said that they would be able to do everything he did and even more than he did (John 14:12).  With the Holy Spirit, God is specifically everywhere. So on the day of Pentecost, there were tongues of flame above each person in the upper room, providing a visual representation of this being personally present at the same time with everyone in the room.

I should clarify that it’s not like there has been one God with persons that have showed up in sequence, each replacing the previous one. The Father is still everywhere. Jesus is still specific.

But with a Spirit that is capable of giving direction to two people is ways that bring their paths together, gifting another with the capacity to give and another with the capacity to administer,  and reminding a room of people of their sins toward each other at the same time, God’s power is evident in new ways.

It’s being specifically everywhere.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.