Recently I read a book called The Bronze Bow, and watched a miniseries dramatising The Bible, and I was struck by the thought of how wild it is that at one point in history, it was actually possible to just walk up and physically touch God... or see Him walking down the street... or go to the market to hear him teach. It's kind of hard to fathom (in somewhat the same way as we tend mentally to picture the 18th century in black and white) because we're so used to thinking of God, experiencing God, and encountering God in such abstract terms.
And I bet it never occurred to most of the people in His proximity that if they just touched Him, they would be healed, if they just knew Him, their very lives would be transformed for the better. They never grasped the magnitude of what they were in the midst of - the magnitude of what he was destined to do on the cross. That billions people for the rest of the freakin' HISTORY of the earth would yearn for the ability to have what was within 2 yards of their grasp. To be able to look into the face, the eyes of God... the creator of everything.
Then I realized, it's not so different now, sure we can't physically touch God, but He's closer now on this side of the cross than he was then. To hear Him these days, you most likely have to hear His worlds through fully human intermediaries rather than direct from the source, but it's no more difficult to listen to Him.
Tangential thought: Or CAN'T we physically touch God? All good and perfect things come from Him, so when a couple shares their first kiss as husband and wife, when a newborn cries out for the first time, when it snows and school gets cancelled, are those not all manifestations of God? Is God not omnipresent in them all? All we have to do is ask and accept Christ's presence in our lives, and it's as if we're the beggar who decides that in fact, yes he IS tired of being lame, and gets up and walks, even dances in the light of new life.
But wouldn't people have reacted differently to Christ walking down the street if they'd have known he was God - and that following his way no matter the cost would ensure you're set for Eternity? What lengths would they have gone to, to be in His presence? What excuse would have been good enough to justify NOT reaching out for Him? What would have been MORE of a priority? How many would have eagerly jumped in to carry that cross even two steps? What lengths do we fail to go to in our own lives because we don't realize the magnitude of God and his presence in our lives?
But yeah, we as humans haven't changed that much. We often don't realize the magnitude of the God who is in our very midst. Instead of getting up from our fishing nets, and getting in earshot of Christ, we sit at our coffee shops, behind our computers, at our various diversions - and we miss the opportunity. Sometimes however, we forget to recognize God in the mundane, in the fact that He is within us and all around us. I mean I guess maybe we have a tendency to be unaware of the magnitude of God- or more likely I'm sure there's an extent to which we're by nature incapable of grasping that - but you can't have read this far in my blog post and be unaware anymore- so where do you go from here?
I sure hope you know God, because He's pretty awesome, and He knows you. He's no less alive now than 3000 years ago, and He's within reach.