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Friday, 20 March 2020

The Lord is near

The Lord is near.

Another beautiful simple reminder from Paul this morning: “The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5)

At this present moment in time, we may feel – and actually be - quite far away from people. Covid19 has forced many of us into self-isolation. Our usual patterns of seeing people have been severely disrupted. Daily contact with friends, family, neighbour – previously so often taken for granted – is now limited. Church cannot meet at it usually does on a Sunday. Birthday parties and celebrations are being postponed. Plans are put on hold.

Thankfully, God isn’t in the habit of social distancing.

In fact, he does exactly the opposite: the story of the Christian faith is the story of the God who comes close. So close, in fact, that he enters into the world of broken and hurting humanity as a tiny little baby. He becomes one of us. God does not wait for us to come close to Him; in Jesus he comes close to us. In Jesus he brings us back to himself. We who were once far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)

As I ran through the park this morning (trying to avoid old ladies walking their dogs!), I was reminded of two things. The lyrics to an old Rend Collective song and a section of the Anglican liturgy usually said during communion:

“No one really knows
What it is to be alone
Since You've never left our side

Omnipresence means
That You're never far away
You're always within reach
Always within reach

Hallelujah God is near
Hallelujah Christ is close
Hallelujah God is near
Hallelujah .” (Rend Collective, God is Near)

When we turned away
you did not reject us,
but came to meet us in your Son.
All   You embraced us as your children
and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.” (Eucharistic Prayer)

I pray that we would each know the truth of God’s near-ness today. That no one – no matter how self-isolated or socially distanced they are – would feel alone. That we would each know the God who came to meet us in his Son.


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