Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9) fans probably remember the scene where Captain Sisko meets the aliens that live in the wormhole’s subspace layer, whom the Bajorans refer to as the Prophets. He gets to explain to them the concept of linear existence – how us mortals have a point in time where we’re born, then we grow up, live as adults, and eventually die. We see this in pretty much everything around us. A pet, or a plant – they experience the same sort of time-line. What is – we call that the present. What happened before the present is called the past. What will happen next is the future. Past, present, future.
So I’ve noticed that sometimes people will think about God do so in human terms. Like last week’s sermon on grieving the Holy Spirit – could his perfect grief over our sin be comparable to our ‘Five Stages of Grief’: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and finally Acceptance? Which brings me to today’s thought, like us, does God have a past, present, and future?
Growing up, I was taught that He was omnipotent. (All powerful, could part the Red Sea, sent the Ten Plagues to Egypt, that sort of thing.) I also learned that He was omniscient. (All knowing, he knew Joseph’s and Moses’ part to play long before they were ever born.) And that he was omnipresent. (At all places, everywhere.)
Now I wonder about God’s omnitemporality – being present at all times. Does he exist in the ‘now’ of Moses leading his people through the Wilderness? Does he exist in the ‘now’ of us at our computers going about our day-to-day lives? Is he ‘now’ in our future … keeping us company in our twilight days? Or with our great-great-grandchildren … whispering to them about the mystery of Himself?