A friend of mine came over recently. We were talking about faith, Bible reading, and our daily lives. I was in a sour mood and told her I preferred the Old Testament because I relate to the prophets and their imperfections so much: Jonah refusing God and then weeping over a dead tree, Elijah who needed food and a nap, Moses snapping and breaking the tablets, Isaiah who needs to be touched by holy fire (a hot coal) before he gains the courage to say “Send me!”, and the list goes on. Imperfect people that God kept using.
My friend didn’t remind me of the imperfect people in the New Testament (Jesus’s entire clique was filled with outcasts, sinners, and imperfection); but instead she reminded me that because we live in Christianity–after the New Testament has been written and Christ has risen from the dead–we have the gift of the Holy Spirit. Always.
In the Old Testament, God’s presence lives in a tent, temples, and His presence isn’t always there. His presence is rarely with individuals.
In our readings we can see the absence of God and the presence. The Psalm talks about God’s anger and wrath, how He disconnects from the people because He’s so angry. Today’s Exodus passage shows the miraculous manna and our reading ends before they begin to complain it’s the same thing over and over again.
And then we get to the New Testament where we are reminded, like my friend reminded me, that God is with us the moment we become Believers and His presence doesn’t go away. We are called “fellow citizens” and “members of his household.” It’s a beautiful reminder that we are adopted.
May this reminder that we live in a time where the Holy Spirit is always with us strengthen you today.