God Close yet Distant
Updated: Dec 7, 2019
God is transcendent and wholly other yet we make a mistake if we consider that God is distant. The closeness of God and God’s otherness are clearly not incompatible. However, we can also fail to understand God if we consider closeness and familiarity on par with one another. While God draws close to us, he must never be treated with familiarity. The miracle for us is that God draws close to us in God’s otherness. Indeed, this is the miracle of the incarnation that the one can be known to us in the person of Jesus Christ comes to us from a distance entering into our world understanding our frailty and partaking in our suffering and pain.
Nevertheless, God’s nearness does not overthrow God’s otherness for the two are to be constantly held in tension if we are to enter into a meaningful and respectful relationship with the one who is the creator of all things, ourselves included. Likewise, God’s otherness does not prevent God from demonstrating God’s love and sympathetic understanding for each one of us in all our need. Equally, God’s loving understanding does not preclude God from introducing change and transformation into the world that we inhabit.