“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
-Job 38:4-7 (NRSV)
What to Consider
- What are your beliefs about the origins of the universe? What are your parishioners’ beliefs? What might this article stir up in your congregation?
- What does the architecture and structure of your church building (or wherever your congregation gathers to worship) say about God’s presence there?
- What does your cosmology say about who God is and how God acts?
- What does your congregation emphasize more: God’s transcendence (unreachability and distance) or God’s immanence (nearness)?
How to Go Deeper
- Preach a series on the places where God dwells. You might talk about the cosmos, the Temple, Jesus, the Church, or within Christians.
- Discuss the dedication of the Temple (1 Kings 8), focusing on the relationship between God’s immanence (nearness) and God’s transcendence (unreachability and distance). Reference other places where God dwells as similar points where God’s immanence and God’s transcendence overlap.
- Read Exodus 20:8-11, the commandment to honor the Sabbath. Consider the assertion in this article that God’s rest on the seventh day was a way of displaying God’s commitment to dwell in the universe as Lord. Connect this to participation in the Sabbath as a way to recognize that God not only dwells in the universe but also amongst us as Lord.
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