You may have noticed that both at the beginning and the end of Jesus’ life on earth there are clear references to God’s presence with His people. In Matthew 1v23 Isaiah’s prophecy is quoted declaring that the virgin’s child will be called Immanuel, which means “God with us”. The very last sentence in Matthew’s gospel contains Jesus’ promise “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (28v20).
This Divine desire and provision is, of course, also described at the beginning and the end of the Bible. The Lord comes seeking Adam and Eve as He walks in the garden (Genesis 3v8,9). The greatest thrill of the new heaven and earth revealed in Revelation 21v3 is that “the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them”. In fact the entire message of the Bible is all about God seeking the restoration of His relationship with us, originally broken by our sin but again made possible by Jesus dying on the cross and being Himself forsaken by His Father.
This is amazing grace that God longs for my presence, has gone to such lengths to secure it and has promised never to leave me or forsake me. As the old saying goes, if we ever feel apart from God the real question is “who moved?” – and it’s certainly not God! In such a scenario repentance truly means turning around and returning to God.
As we enter 2016 may we all seek to stay close to the Lord as He promises to walk by our side. As we do so we’ll never walk alone, either from the Lord or from each other.
Happy New Year
Peace and Grace