Archive for November 17th, 2022

God’s Presence


Written by Kyle Norman, a contemporary pastor and author.

Sometimes the most profound experiences of God’s presence occur within the ordinary places of over lives. God comes amid the regular and routine, catching us unawares. This is no truer than in the story of Jacob. One of the high points of his life with God is when he dreams of a ladder upon which the angels of God ascend and descend. Rising from his dream Jacob exults in the presence of the Lord saying, “Surely the Lord is in this place!” He dedicates the spot to the Lord, and calls the place Bethel, meaning “The House of God”. Bethel becomes a recurring place of divine encounter throughout Scripture. Did Jacob simply happen to lie down in a thin place, a place where heaven and earth touch? Was his dream nothing more than blessed happenstance, a byproduct of resting near the stairway of the heavens? If we read the scripture this way, then we must assume that Jacob has the dream simply because he happened to lie down in the correct spot. The implication of this is clear; if we wish to have a similar occurrence, we must make our way to the appropriate location. God will come to us if we rest in the correct place. But what does this mean? Does God remain hidden behind secret doors and heavenly staircases? Does an encounter with God simply boil down to being in the right place at the right time – even if it’s by accident? … The Lord’s house is the place where the Lord lovingly dwells, and that is around us and within us. Jesus promises to reside within the heart of those committed to him…Like Jacob, the one who created us also sustains us. There is no place in our lives where we are outside God’s gracious presence. This means that each evening, regardless of where we place our heads, we rest within the presence of God.  Hear these comfortable words: Surely, the Lord is in this place. Every moment of your life, you are surrounded by the gracious presence of the Lord. When you retire for the evening, you rest your body and soul in the protective arms of Jesus. And when you rise, you waken to a day that will be lived in the context of his grace and mercy. You may not experience divine dreams such as Jacob did, but the reality of God’s presence is assured just the same. This is an awesome place. You stand at the gate of heaven.


This prayer is from the Leonine Sacramentary, the earliest surviving collection of Roman Mass formularies and ordination prayers from the early 7th century.

O Lord,

hear our prayers.

Just as we trust

that the Savior of humanity

is seated with you in your majesty,

we may also trust that he remains with us always

to the end of the age, as he has promised;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read Full Post »