Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away,
         for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you;
         but if I go, I will send him to you.”

                  —John 16.7

God has a weird sense of intimacy.

Jesus embodies God’s love for us, but he’s a human being. The love he wishes for us is not just his own limited, human love, but God’s infinite, divine love. For us to really allow God to embrace us fully, for us to let God fill us fully from the inside, Jesus knows he has to get out of the way. We have to let go of him. We have to let go of our memories and expectations of God in order to be open and ready for the next, even deeper encounter. We have to let go of our experience of God to meet God.

We are so deeply attached to our sensations of God, our images of God, our feelings, our understanding and even our sense of God’s presence, that sometimes God withdraws that sense—and even withdraws that form of God’s presence—so we can be free of those sensations we’re attached to, to get beyond our ideas and feelings about God and actually be with God.

Sometimes the way this feels is that God is absent. Like when the risen Jesus, who is not subject to death, and therefore ought to be able to hang around forever, leaves anyway. But God is not absent. God is just changing our awareness. Sometimes our sense of the absence of God is a sign that God is giving us a new way of knowing God. It may never be as easy and feel-good as it was to just hang with Jesus. But it will be deep and true. God will be there.

Be ready to let go of whatever you’re used to hanging onto. There’s always more.
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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