Day 2

We Are Welcomed into God’s Presence

from the The Presence of God reading plan


Psalm 27:4, Isaiah 6:1-7, Revelation 4:1-11, Ephesians 2:13-18, Hebrews 4:16, Jude 1:24-25

BY Jen Yokel

Over the past few months, I’ve been fascinated by the life and writing of Julian of Norwich. As a fourteenth-century English woman, Julian knew a thing or two about living in a chaotic world. From political turmoil to watching her community’s decimation by the Black Death, she no doubt sensed the fear of her world and heard the pains of her neighbors. I imagine as an anchorite, as a woman living out her days secluded in a church yet still available to her community, her neighbors would have come to her. I picture her as a safe, motherly presence where they could confess their fears, vent their anger, and ask for prayer. Yet for all this heaviness, here is a woman who could write these words: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

Over 600 years later, it is clear that all is still not well. This story stretches even farther back than the Middle Ages—the story of a people searching for the presence of God.

Like Isaiah, we look upon God’s glory and despair at all we can never be (Isaiah 6:1–7). Like David, we ache to dwell with God and gaze on His beauty (Psalm 27:4). We talk about a Creator who is close to creation, maybe even catch a glimpse of Him in the laughter of loved ones or the roar of the ocean, yet we also read of the throne room in Revelation and wonder how we could survive such astonishing power (Revelation 4).

What is this presence we all seek? What does it mean to find God when the world is in disarray and He feels unreachable?

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul began by reminding these faithful Christ-followers who they once were: without Christ, excluded and without hope (Ephesians 2:12). They were Gentiles, outsiders to Israel’s promises and citizenship, yet even that division, as Paul points out, was “done in the flesh by human hands” (v.11). God’s greater plan is a radical, cosmic hospitality, beginning and ending with a very real, human yet divine presence.

“But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (v.13). In the mystery of grace, a rabbi who loved, healed, laughed, wept, listened, and suffered also died and returned to life. He broke down the divisions between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female, God and humanity. And in an even greater mystery, we become the dwelling place of God, each of us as individual rooms in a living temple more glorious than the finest building in the world, a shelter from a world of plagues and turmoil and despair.

God’s presence, His dwelling, is no longer a place “out there” that we have to reach. It’s not an exclusive club or a far-off mountaintop. It is awe-inspiring, maybe even terrifying, and it is as close as skin and bone. It defies our human boundaries and looks like a parade of misfits who are grateful for a seat at the table. It is safety and warmth and family. All are welcome, and there is always room for more—always a space to come in from the chaos and rest in the hope that all just might be well.

Post Comments (76)

76 thoughts on "We Are Welcomed into God’s Presence"

  1. Sabrina Edmondson says:

    I really liked this day 2 on us being welcomed into God’s presence. I think it’s easy to feel like you’re only being allowed into your faith because of others or because you’re being forced or because Jesus died so you got in, when in actuality, God yearns for a connection with us. He offers us a warm, loving, open invitation to be in communion with us. I think it’s beautiful to consider and makes the journey of growing in your faith more meaningful in that way. It isn’t like a master slave type relationship, but a fatherly, tender, nurturing style presence. It’s comforting and encouraging, and makes you want to truly ‘dwell’ with God and grow in your faith. I also really liked how being in God’s presence was described as this community of misfits happy and surprised to be included in the party but enjoying the idea they’re there and welcomed and loved and comforted in knowing all will be well. It’s a beautiful idea of what our faith means to all of us and how accessible, open, and comforting it is.

  2. Taylor Graves says:

    Hebrews 4:16 really resonated with me. Last November I gave birth to my daughter at 29 weeks and unfortunately she passed away 6 days later while in the NICU. I’ve been struggling with my faith since that loss and recently have decided that it is time to try and fix my relationship with God. I was scared at first because I felt unworthy of God’s love since I walked away from Him when I lost my daughter. I felt like maybe since I turned my back on Him, He would do the same. These readings have shown me that is not the case. Hebrews 4:16 specifically showed me that I need to not have fear but be strong and give God my sadness instead of carrying it all on my own. If I give Him my hardships, He will have mercy on me and provide me with everything I need during this hard time in my life. I love that I was able to read that because it is such a comfort during a time when I feel so alone. Sending all the love to you all and prayers to: Lanie for your ultrasound and a healthy pregnancy. I hope everything goes well! And to Traci, I pray that God uses you to help bring that mother out of her darkness and provides you with the right words for her daughter. ❤️

    1. Margo Trinter says:

      Praying for you. Bring those concerns and honest thoughts to God. He yearns for that connection. And in my experience in the hardest times is when you feel God’s presence the most.

    2. Blair Campbell says:

      I lost my daughter in August of last year at 22 weeks. So I feel your pain and I will be praying for you!!

  3. Stephanie McNutt says:

    Amen

  4. Missy Csonka says:

    Thanks be to God for His presence Ya’ll! Loving the reading for today. He is so faithful that I cannot even understand it in my humanity yet He is The Way The Truth and The Life.

    Rest in that SHES!! Many Hugs and much Love to you all always ❣️❣️

  5. Donna Wolcott says:

    Sisters, I just watched a video song, “Watch the Lamb” by Ray Boltz. Very powerful and emotional.

  6. Donna Wolcott says:

    I’m finally catching up on comments. Welcome to all the new “sisters”! Mia my deepest condolences to you and your family, may the Lord shower you with His peace this week and the coming days. You are all in my prayers, spoken and on hearts. A late blessings for today. I’m working on being more present in my time with my Savior!

  7. Dee Dee says:

    Praying for all the requests as I read. Lord, please be extra near to Mia and Lanie and their families. May your Spirit lead and guide them. ❤️ we know you hear our prayers. Amen

  8. Amanda Staton says:

    ♥️

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