Menno Simons Christian School is a Kindergarten thru grade Nine School located in Calgary, Alberta. Our school opened its doors in 1983 and has been offering quality Christian education for over 35 years.
Learning the English language is hard. For example, if you want to put a shine on the table that you bought in Poland, you can polish the Polish furniture. Homonyms are words that sound just like other words, but each has a very different meaning. Some common examples include read/reed, hour/our, acts/axe, ant/aunt, be/bee, and blue/blew. How are we to know what someone is talking about when they say “They're going to meet their friends over there at the park.” Maybe other languages have similar difficulties, but I sure am glad that I learned English at a very young age!
One set of words that all sound the same have to do with the attributes of God
Eminent - famous and respected, or distinguished
Immanent - (of God) permanently pervading and sustaining the universe. Nearby.
Imminent - about to happen, or will happen soon
As we approach Easter, it is helpful for us to reflect on all three of these characteristics of God.
First, we need to be reminded that He is eminent - it is God who has created all things. Colossians 1:15-17 states
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
God is truly great, and we do well when we acknowledge who He is and recognize that He is eminent!
It is true that God is greater than all of creation, and is transcendent above his creation - this is similar to what the ancient Greek thought of their gods. One of the major differences of the Christian faith is that not only is God transcendent, He is also immanent. At Christmas we celebrate the nativity, where God became one of us: Emmanuel - God with us. This is a huge departure from the ancients - the audacity of God coming near and dwelling with us. John 1:14 states
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Literally, God ‘pitched his tent among us’. In some of His final words to us, Jesus says “I will be with you, even to the end of the age”. What a comfort to know that the God who created the world and everything in it loves us so much that he wants to travel alongside us!
Lastly, it is comforting to know that this life is not the end. Christ’s return is imminent. This is the hope that we live with daily, and is accented at Easter. Death does not have the final say! Jesus, on that resurrection morning, gives us hope and victory by conquering death and the grave! As we approach Good Friday, we can reflect on the many sins and injustices of this world, knowing that Jesus took them to the cross. More important though, is that we can celebrate on Easter Sunday because the tomb is empty - “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
Christ’s return is imminent, so we can celebrate with Christians around the world when we proclaim on Easter morning - He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!