It would seem to be a crucial point to make in reflecting on the relationship of the church to the world. Certainly God is present everywhere. In a sense, Christ is to be found among the nations of the world before any missionary gets there. After all, He has been entrusted with the ruling of the universe (1 Cor. 15: 23-27) . But He is present in grace only among His people, who gather around Word and Sacrament. That is St. Paul’s point in 2 Cor. 6: 16-18.  Martin Scharlemann