“Is God really everywhere?”

A student asked in a DQ forum:

Don’t have to answer this in class but if you could respond in the private forum that’d be great. Is God really everywhere at once? Or is this just a misconception that I have from what I was told when I was younger?

The IA responded via private message:

It is true. We teach that God is omniscient (all-knowing, or infinitely knowing), omnipresent (all-present or infinitely present), omnipotent (all-powerful or infinitely powerful), and omnibenevolent (all loving or infinitely good). One good example of this from the Bible is in Psalm 139 where the Psalmist asks in verse 7, “Where can I go from your Spirit?” He then proceeds to say he can go to the far side of the sea and God is there; he can go to the depths of the earth and God is there – everywhere he goes, God is there. God is always present everywhere with us in all of creation because he is transcendent above it, so he is able to be everywhere in all of creation. The Psalmist then declares: “even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.” This vital truth is both scary and comforting at the same time. You cannot run or hide from God. He is always everywhere present, and yet we can know because of this, he will always be with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will ever be with us to guide us and hold us near to him.


QOTD: on Loving God and Loving others

Dorotheus of Gaza, a sixth century desert abbot, asks us to imagine a circle with God in the center and us and our neighbors around the rim. When we and our neighbors move closer to each other, the circle gets smaller so that we also move closer to God. And when we move closer to God, we move closer to our neighbors. Thus love for God and love for neighbor naturally go together. As Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” (Matt 22:37-40).So before asking how we can perceive our neighbors, we will ask how we can perceive God. If we see something of God,, we will be able to recognize his image in our neighbors.

-From Nonna Harrison’s book God’s Many Splendored Image: Theological Anthropology for Christian Formation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010), 49.