Saturday, February 14, 2015

Where Are You?

The LORD God called to Adam and asked him, “Where are you?”  He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”  Genesis 3:9-10

“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat.  If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.”  His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?”  Mark 8:2-4

The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.  In green pastures he makes me lie down; to still waters he leads me; he restores my soul.  He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name.  Psalm 23:1-3

From what are we hiding?  Despite the fact that the main action in this story is betrayal, disobedience and banishment, something good is happening here.  The Lord really does not need to ask Adam and Eve what happened.  Despite the pre-knowledge of their sin, the Lord still comes looking for them. 

Adam and Even are tempted – and succumb to the desire to satisfy their hunger for knowledge by stealing a bite of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.  In the New Testament, the crowd also is hungry – hungry for what Jesus is teaching and then physically hungry for food a long way from home.  They hang on and hang on and hang on to every last word that Jesus speaks until it is too late to get home.  Too bad that they have exhausted their food stores.  So Jesus seeks out a solution to the lack of food.  The punishing Lord of Genesis becomes the God-man, filled with pity, to the huddled masses yearning to be enlightened and fed.

In the end, they get enlightenment and nourishment – an antithesis to the darkness and banishment suffered by Adam and Eve.  Not only are the stories diametric opposites, but the settings also are drastically different.  Plush and verdant Eden is the soon-to-be forgotten home of Adam and Eve.  It’s a sumptuous garden with all manner of plants, animals and minerals to be at the beck and call of the “first” family.  The crowd in Mark’s gospel – on the other hand – has followed the Lord out to a deserted place. Yet in the end, the crowd in the desert is satisfied by manna falling on a new Exodus while the couple in the garden is not.

No matter what we do nor how hard we try to hide from the Lord, we will still be children of God sought out by our heavenly parent. We will never be invisible to the Lord.

Where are you?  The Lord is looking for you.
From where do you look to relieve the pains of hunger for knowledge of the Lord?  Or are you avoiding them? 

We live in the land of plenty and eat at the table of plenty and shop at the Mall of plenty and bank at the vault of plenty.  Yet we remain hungry for more and more and more. 

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