What Is It Like to Feel God’s Touch?Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
1 John 1:1-2
Everyone knows that human beings have five senses, but not everyone knows that each of those senses is carefully and specifically designed by God to serve as a portal for divine input. The opening verse of this letter from John refers to three of our senses—what we have “heard, seen, and touched.” In 2 Corinthians 2:15, Paul mentions the sense of smell and Psalm 34:18 refers to taste. That’s all five senses. You are designed to be like a Geiger counter that is finely tuned to crackle with God’s holy presence and divine power at work.
It does require some fine-tuning. In order to heal a blind man on one occasion, Jesus touched him twice. After the first touch, the man said he could see people, but they looked like trees walking around. After the second touch, he was able to see things clearly (Mark 8:22-26). This fits with the twentieth century research of Dr. Marius von Senden whose study of people given sight for the first time later in life is reported in his book Space and Sight (and also in Annie Dillard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek). For most of these people, the experience of seeing for the first time required two steps. It took one step for people to begin to see and then a second for them to understand what it was that they were seeing.
When you read the full passage from 1 John below, consider how the touch of Jesus continues to bring us
- the awareness that God is pure light and has no shadowy, untrustworthy side.
- the discovery of a deeply joyful fellowship with God and with others.
- the need for honesty about our own brokenness.
- the assurance that we are forgiven and everything is going to be okay.
Elite athletes are often described as playing “at a very high level.” That’s the life John is describing for you and me—life “at a very high level” where all of our senses are tuned to God’s presence and power.
Ask Jesus to keep touching you today so that your five senses will crackle with his presence and power.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 1:1-2:2
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Describe some of the signs that a person is becoming more aware of God’s mysterious presence and power at work. What’s required to sharpen this sense? Which of the four signs mentioned above is most true for you right now.
PRAYER: Touch me again and again, O Lord. Help me to live at a very high level. And remind me that living at a high level always means reaching low to serve. Amen.
P. S. from Dave Peterson: Now that we have finished Lent, we are going to try something new on The High Calling. Each week, our Bible passages will be selected from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday. If your church follows the lectionary, you will have opportunities all week to prepare your heart for community worship. If your church doesn’t follow the lectionary, don’t worry. I know you’ll still enjoy these interesting collections of thematically related passages from the Old and New Testament.