Can you imagine what it must have been like for Jesus the first moment he sat around with the circle of his disciples after they had finally become friends? . . . What must that have felt like to Jesus? Had this been what he had always wanted?(Image: by danilo.mistroni at flickr.com)
For the first time since that cruel day in Eden, God was sitting down with people he loved and they were not cowering in fear.
For centuries men and women had stood at a great distance from God, shamed by their own sin and intimidated by his holiness. With only a few notable exceptions, people wanted nothing to do with the immediacy of God’s presence. When Mt. Sinai shook with thunder and earthquakes, the people begged Moses to go to God for them. God was a terrifying figure and feeling safe with him was unthinkable.
But God had never thought so. His plan to restore the fellowship with humanity that Adam and Eve had lost in their fall was unfolding. In Jesus, he was able to sit down in the company of those he loved and they were comfortable enough to engage him in a real conversation. What an incredible moment that must have been for Jesus, to be with people who were not so awed by him, that they could not enjoy his presence.
. . . . For the first time since he walked the garden with Adam and Eve, God was among people the way he had always wanted to be. Broken lives were drawn to him, not repelled. His followers were secure enough in his presence to be genuine, even when that revealed their lust for power or their arrogance over others. Now God could experience the relationship he’d always wanted with his people.
. . . . That friendship Jesus shared with his disciples was the model for the relationship he extends to you. He wants to be the voice that steers you through every situation, the peace that sets your heart at rest in trouble and the power that hold you up in the storm. He wants to be closer than your dearest friend and more faithful than any other person you’ve ever known.
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17