After Trinity 16, I posted that I was touched by the Gospel for that Sunday from Luke 7. Jesus interrupts a funeral procession by raising the deceased. And the people joyfully exclaim, “God hath visited his people.”
After reflecting on this and also talking on the subject to some young adults, I’ve decided to begin a series – God With Us. That refers, of course, to Matthew 1:23 which quotes the prophesy of Isaiah 7:14:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
I think the name Immanuel, God With Us, points to a key theme of the Bible and of its portrayal of God acting in history. One of God’s purposes is that he would be with us and us with him. And scripture unveils how he is bringing that about.
I want to begin this series by briefly looking at what is surely one of the saddest verses in Bible, Genesis 3:8, which comes just after Adam and Eve fell by disobeying God.
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.
Before the Fall, Adam and Eve had perfect communion with God. So much so that they recognized “the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden.” God so frequently came and talked with them that they knew the sound of him approaching. And that sound had surely been an occasion for joy.
But now, with Adam and Eve having fallen, it was an occasion for fear. And instead of openness between them and God, they now hid. The relationship between God and man was so harmed by the sin of man that it was not the same anymore.
And it has not been the same ever since.
But God has not left it at that . . . as we shall see.