“[Lord] You came near when I called on you;
you said, ‘Do not fear!’
You have taken up my cause, O Lord,
you have redeemed my life.”
— Lamentations 3:57-58 (NRSV)
The Glory of the Lord came near in the person of Jesus Christ—God incarnate (God-in-skin)—to live as we live, to suffer as we suffer (and then some!), and to die as we die. But such a death not many of us are called to suffer; indeed, any?
Jesus came near two centuries ago, and Jesus comes near, today, this present moment, in the form of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the living Word. And what does this matter?
It matters because we matter to Jesus.
So What If Jesus Comes Near?
It’s a logical question of the unbeliever: “So what?”
Well, we know it matters when we need to know it matters. Until then, until God can reach us in our hearts, this fact of Jesus coming near doesn’t seem to matter. But, of course, as soon as the matters, it matters!
So many of us have run our own race, not needing God, or at least we thought that. We reckoned upon life that was ‘blessed enough’ because we could make your own choices—and didn’t need God, or it least we thought that at the time.
But then the circumstances of our lives changed.
God, in a manner of circumstance and in the changing of times, came into our lives. We may have seen this as an intrusion, but such a necessary intrusion. We truly needed God. When we finally realised that Jesus had come near, then, and only then, were we ready to receive him.
When I Called on You, Jesus, You Came Near and You Continue to Do so
This is the truth of the Christian faith—a relational faith born of a God who reaches down to receive us as we receive him. Not a moment too early does Jesus come near, though as we look into our unbelieving pasts we see him there, waiting patiently for our hearts to turn.
The important issue is when we called on Jesus, he came near to us.
Jesus comes near, today.
The key question is, in our moment of need, can we come near to God by calling on our Lord? For, the Lord will take up our cause and redeem our lives; giving us a hope and a future, and revelation of a good plan we can believe in.
Jesus matters because we matter to Jesus. This incarnate Lord of lords and King of kings came near, and he comes near, today, this very moment, eternally. He comes near to each of us in our need. We matter, so God comes near, so we need not fear.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.