On where God is
It seems that each time there is a tragic crisis in the world, the inevitable question arises: "Where is God?" It is, of course, a fair enough question - one would like to think that the benevolent Creator has not just abandoned us - but all too often the answers given are so steeped in a kind of theological-speak that the search for the answer gets lost. And it is a search; those who purport to have all the answers to everything seem to forget that we're in the realm of mystery here, and mystery is less a destination than it is a journey.
For Christians, of course, the mystery of the nature of God must be seen in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. If there can be a popular perception of God as a remote old white man on a cloud, we know that to truly understand what God is all about we need to know Jesus. Because of his presence in the world, everyday life itself is charged with divinity, since it was just such a life that he chose both to live and to forfeit. The answer to "Where is God?" then, is revealed, bit by bit, story by story, through Jesus Christ. The answer perhaps does not lead us to the concrete destination we would like, but - possessed of hearts opened by the Spirit's urging - we begin to appreciate the journey into mystery, and in so journeying begin to see God.
So where is God? Well, I look at this morning's reading from St. Luke and get some clues. An image of Jesus appears: one who is anxious, one who is fearful, one who is doubtful, one who is in agony, one who is exasperated, one who is resigned. There's God. So it follows the God is somehow present in fear, in doubt, in agony, in exasperation, and in resignation. Given that I can be fearful, doubtful, in agony, exasperated, and resigned that's pretty good news, as it means I don't need to look to some remote cloud to find God, but - inspired by God's word and fortified by the Sacraments - I can get glimpses looking into my heart and the hearts of my brothers and sisters in humanity.
For some this might not be a satisfying answer - not the destination at which they wish to arrive - and I get that. But to those people I can only say: the journey can be possessed of such grace that God begins to seem more present, which is precisely the point of the question in the first place. In looking for God through Jesus Christ, we begin to glimpse exactly where God is in all of this.
And - just as a personal testimony: the journey towards this mystery can be nothing short of marvellous.