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May 2014

How Close Is God?

6th Sunday of Easter

From “Saving the Ants”

Scripture Reference: Acts 17:22-31  Jesus_Hug

Preparation: (Optional) Bring pictures of several things that are far away from us, like the moon, the sun, planets, galaxies, etc.

If you could name something that is the farthest possible distance away from you, what would that thing be? What is something that is really far away from you? (Discuss distant objects with children, and, if desired, show them pictures of far away objects.) Now, if you could name something that is as close to you as is possible, what would that be? What are some things that are very, very close to you? (Discuss close objects with children.)

Some people think that God must live far away. If we could travel to go see God, how far do you think we’d have to go? If we thought that God lived somewhere in the “up” direction, and we got into a rocket ship to go and visit him, how far do you think our rocket would have to travel to finally get to where God is? (Let children speculate.)

But is God really far away from us? Does God live way out there in outer space? (Children may answer.) Our God is not a distant God. He wants to be right here with us. He sent his only son, Jesus, right here to our world to live with us and to die on the cross for us and to rise again to life. And when Jesus went up into heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to fill every believer with the power of God.

God is close to us, isn’t he? Jesus is closer than your mommy or daddy when they’re hugging you tight; he’s closer than a hug. Jesus is closer than our shoes and socks. He’s closer than our skin. Acts, chapter 17, describes how close God is to us. The apostle Paul says, “He is not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being… ” (Acts 17:27-28 RSV). God is so close that he’s a part of us.

But Jesus only comes close to us if we allow him to. When we invite Jesus into our heart and accept him as our Savior and Lord, he does become a part of us. “In him we live and move and have our being.” So the next time you get a nice squooshy hug from someone, remember that Jesus is even closer than a hug! When you go back to your places, give someone a big hug and tell them how close Jesus is to them.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, when we feel like you are far away, help us to remember how close you really are.

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