Monday March 6th Genesis 3 : 8-13
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Maybe as a child you were caught red-handed (and red-faced) doing something you shouldn't have been doing. Can you remember how that felt?
There's something of that feeling in this passage. God has created the universe and everything in it. He has made humankind the pinnacle of his creation, and God has proclaimed everything "very good". For a while there existed the perfect harmony of God's creation as he intended it.
And then it all goes horribly wrong!
Today's passage follows the wilful act of disobedience — the partaking of forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve know they are in trouble and humanity experiences for the first time ever, those feelings so familiar to us of shame and guilt.
The image of God walking in the garden and calling out to Adam and Eve speaks to us of familiarity, of a close relationship. It was a relationship that was created especially by God for himself and for humanity. And now it was spoiled.
At the heart of this passage is loss and grief. Something we all experience at some time in our lives. Here is humanity's loss, but also it is God's loss and God's grief.
Now begins the long wait for the new Adam, Jesus Christ, who will restore humanity to God, who will renew that relationship and tear down the veil that comes between us and God.
God gives us freedom of choice. We are free to disobey, we are free to rebel, but we are also free to love, and only true love can be given freely. We love him because he first loved us, a love that gave us his only begotten Son. He invites us to accept that love, and walk with Him in the garden once more.
Loving heavenly Father. It is sin that separates. Help me to accept your forgiveness and your love, that I might walk closely with you today and always.
Graham Pentelow Snape