Where Actually Is God?

Pentecost 13 Thursday

Jeremiah 23:24

“Am I not the one who fills heaven and earth?, says the Lord.”

God is essentially present everywhere, in and through all creatures in all their parts and places, so that the world is full of God and he fills it all without being comprehended or circumscribed by it, but is at the same time outside and beyond all creatures. Yet while these are utterly incomprehensible matters, they are articles of our faith, clearly and powerfully attested to in Scripture. It is a comparatively minor matter that Christ’s body and blood are at once in heaven and in the Lord’s Supper. And if the enthusiasts would get to this article of God’s omnipresence with their reason and eyes, they would soon stumble and say, “It is nothing,” and, as it is the manner of the godless, they would say, “There is no God,” Psalm 14:1. For how can reason tolerate that the divine majesty should be so small that it is, presently and essentially, in a seed, by a seed, through a seed, inside and outside a seed? And that, although it is a single majesty, it is able to be present in each seed individually, although they are countless? For God makes each seed individually in all its parts, inwardly and everywhere; thus, his power must be present everywhere in and by the seed. Yet now that his power is one and does not divide itself into making the seed’s husk with the fingers and the seed’s nutritious tissue with his feet, the entire divine power must be present, in and by the seed everywhere. For he does it by himself. Contrariwise, this majesty is also so big that neither this world nor a thousand worlds can comprehend it, saying: “Look, here he is!”…Now that God has found a mode for his divine essence to be present completely in all creatures and in each creature individually–
deeper, more intimate, and more present than the creature is present to itself–while at the same time being unable to be comprehended anywhere and by any creature, so that he comprehends, and is present in, all things while no thing comprehends, and is present in, him–should the same God not also know a mode of presence whereby his body could be wholly and completely at once at many place while there is no place where he is? Ah we wretched children of men! We judge God and his doing by our thoughts, considering him to be a shoemaker or day laborer.

St. Louis ed., 20:805-807.

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