Proper 5b The Father Cries Out To You, “Where Are You?”
Proper 5b Sunday
Gen. 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
I remember I was 6. My older brother wasn’t being too nice to me so I whacked him over the head with something. Well, he was only 8 and he went to mom and dad. I hid the big walk in closet and buried myself under whatever was in there. I think it was a mattress. Well my dad went looking for me. That’s what we do when we know we’re in trouble, when we’ve disobeyed the authority whether our parents, teachers, the police or even God.
Well God was walking through the garden some fine morning after Adam and Eve disobeyed him. He was looking for them. Just as the bride looks for her lost coin or the shepherd seeks his lost sheep. From the sound of it, he wasn’t even angry with them. He was going after them like the prodigal father. Where are you? He asked. They were hiding because they were afraid. Sure, they probably should have been afraid. But God was being merciful and seeking them out, giving them a chance to confess and repent. But they hid.
How often do we hide from God? Do we turn out the lights before we do something we’re not supposed to do? Do we wait for it to get dark? After we have sinned and we know we have transgressed God’s law, do we try to hide the fact that we did it? When God is knocking on the door of our consciences, do we act like we don’t hear him and hide in the inner recesses of our mind? Perhaps we hide from God by not confessing our sin to him or to him through our pastor. If they don’t know, perhaps they won’t find out about it. Maybe we quit going to Church because we believe God won’t have us back. We think God will only judge us and therefore we think the Church will only judge us.
Well, to be honest, some people in Church will probably judge you. But those people are probably already judging you. So forget them. The vast majority of Christians, when we confess our sins, when we come humbly before them and admit our faults are far more likely to confess their sins, their faults back to you. Most pastors would just die to be able to tell you the words God your Father wants you to hear, “I forgive you for Christ’s sake. You are free. Go in peace.” That is their main vocation from God, to forgive the sins of penitent sinners. They are called to free people from their guilt and shame.
Your Father in heaven is crying out in the garden of your heart, “Where are you?” What are you going to do? Are you going to hide? Are you going to turn to the one is gracious and merciful to you? Don’t hide.
Heavenly Father, you seek out the sinner, the lost, the guilt-ridden and the shamed. May your gracious gospel of the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake grant us courage not to hide but to confess our sins and receive your love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.