September 27, 2020

Where God Lives

Ephesians 2:13-22

In him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

—  Ephesians 2:22

As we wrapped up a small-group Bible study one night, I suddenly realized I had been privileged to see Jesus in the lives and hearts of each person in the room. Our little group was beautifully ordinary: a cranky retired schoolteacher, a struggling artist, a discouraged young man, others, and my wife and I, who were navigating our way with three young adopted children. Really? This is where Jesus lives?

I realized that it was in the ordinariness and even the weaknesses of our shared lives that the presence of Jesus shone through. The cranky schoolteacher could be impatient and critical, but beneath her crustiness shone a heart of gold that quietly paid for several needy students to study at a Christian graduate school. The artist stumbled with her words but spoke eloquently with her paintbrush. The young man, who had been abused as a child, had found a safe place to weep openly about his wounds.

The fact that believers in Christ are being built together into a dwelling in which God lives is one of the great mysteries of life in Christ. The Lord of the universe, who flung countless galaxies into being, is present as his children gather in his name! Jesus stands with us in the messiness of our lives. He once said to the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). That’s the kind of ­power that shows up when God makes his dwelling among us.

Thank you, Lord, for dwelling among and in us with your abounding grace that is made perfect in our weaknesses. Amen.

About the author — Syd Hielema

Syd Hielema serves the Christian Reformed Church in North America as director of a ministry project called Connections II. He has also served with Faith Formation Ministries, as a professor of theology and youth ministry at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, and as a chaplain and professor at Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario. Syd has been married to Evelyn for 43 years, and they enjoy bird watching near their home in Ancaster.

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