8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 And he said, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
When you hear the word ‘Advent’, what comes to mind? The Christmas story? The Incarnation of God into human life through Jesus Christ? Maybe the second Advent – when Jesus fulfills His promise to come again and reconcile and renew all things?
What if I told you that God began moving near to mankind from the very beginning?
In the Scripture, God uses language that the human mind can comprehend. He does this so that we might have some understanding, as limited as it may be, of who He is. In Genesis, God who by nature is Spirit, reveals Himself in physical form as He relates to mankind. It is apparent that He did this with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
What is so extraordinary about the passage above, is that God took the initiative in reaching out to sinful humanity. He made the first move. Adam and Eve had sinned and experienced feelings of guilt and shame for the first time. Their new instinct in their fallen state was to hide from God. Behind some inadequate tree, wearing inadequate coverings, they hear the voice of God calling out to them saying, “Where are you?”
Long ago, a pattern emerges. Humans sin and hide, then God seeks them. The greatest expression of this pattern is Jesus Christ, who “has come to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
God came looking for Adam and Eve so that they might face their sin, and so that He might tell them the first Gospel, “He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) In layman’s terms, [Jesus] will strike [Satan’s] head, and [Satan] will strike [Jesus’s] heel. This is good news for you. Through Jesus, we will defeat sin – because Jesus has sacrificed himself on Earth. God is still pursuing sinners. God is pursuing you.
He made the first move towards you. Will you move toward Him this Advent season?
Reflection: How has God been pursuing you recently? How have you responded to that pursuit?
Artwork Credit: Virgin Mary and Eve
Crayon & pencil drawing by Sr Grace Remington, OCSO
© 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey.