My younger son has recently developed an annoying habit of prodding me under the dining table with his toe. When I tell him not to, he innocently claims that it’s not him doing it. It must be “Jesus under the table”.
It seems that at the age of nine, he has already realised that Jesus/God is simply code for anything mysterious we don’t fully understand.
In ancient times, Gods were used to explain thunder and lightning, the sun and the moon, earthquakes, plagues, bad luck and anything else that didn’t have an obvious explanation.
But even by the time of Jesus himself, many of these phenomena no longer seemed mysterious enough to necessitate Godlike intervention, and in the modern scientific era, more and more strange and previously magical qualities of the world now have rational explanations that do not require divine intervention or superstition.
Of course, certain people reject rational explanations of the world. Just google “sin causes cancer” for a taste of this.
The domain of God is retreating steadily, but it seems he’ll never go away completely. He’ll probably always be there somewhere, hiding under the table.