What would happen if we were to take this phrase seriously? Not literally, but as something more than figurative. What if God is the medium in which we exist?
Maybe Earth’s atmosphere is a good analogy, but rather than molecules of the various life-sustaining gases in which we are immersed from the moment of our birth, God is the “spiritual” atmosphere of the Creation. It can't be simply a linguistic coincidence that so many ancient languages used the same word for spirit, breath, and wind. If we move beyond the experiential aspects suggested by these linked terms to the theological, it isn't a great leap to imagine that the universe (and everything in it) is permeated by God’s presence. But that presence is attenuated, stretched so thin that it is not readily apparent. It’s more of a residue, an echo just before it fades to inaudible, an after-image on the retina just before it vanishes—real, but greatly diminished.
How would we account for such a state of affairs? One way would be to suppose that everything we think of as the physical universe now exists in a space that once was part of God. God intentionally withdrew God's Being from this space so that the Creation could come into existence in the first place as something separate from God’s own existence.
“The Earth is filled with the glory of the Lord,” says the Psalmist. Evidently, even God’s greatly reduced, filtered, and attenuated presence is enough to dazzle us mere mortals. But it is not enough to overwhelm us and trump our wills. Not enough to dictate the course of events in our lives, our world, or our universe. And this according to God’s plan.
God’s presence in Creation takes the form of love, which, though it is the greatest force in Creation, makes its power known in weakness. God loves us enough to give us freedom—and not just us, but the whole Creation as well. Since we are all made of the same basic building blocks, we all partake of the same energy, and we all exist in the same “atmosphere” of God’s presence, from the tiniest newborn baby to galactic super clusters, and everything in between, we are all connected and all cherished by our Creator.
Only the most amazing and awesome God would choose to create in this way!
And since Jesus was also part of it all, from the outset, I'm pretty sure he gives a rat's ass about it.