"They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3: 8-9
Looking out my window as I write I am marvelling at the ice clinging to large branches and tiny twigs after a night of freezing rain. Such a beautiful picture it makes. But I’d still rather see leaves every shade of green that my eyes can perceive. I understand that there are even more colors in the spectrum that the human eye cannot process or perceive. Some things will remain hidden to us – even right in front of us.
Perhaps it is like that with our capacity to perceive the presence of God. We have hints of God all around us – in nature; in the words we read in the Bible; kneeling at the altar on a Sunday morning; in the kindness, compassion, and forgiveness we experience in relationships; bird songs; children’s laughter. Even so, in the difficult moments, I am often too quick to cry, “Where are you God?”. I find it kind of funny – kind of profound that in the passage from Genesis when Adam and Even hide themselves from God in amongst the trees of the garden (can’t you picture it… as if that will work!) – it is God who asks of them, “Where are you?”. Perhaps this speaks of God’s deep longing to walk with us – to commune with us. God’s story of love for His people begins with a desire for being present and in relationship.
We are about two months into our anniversary year. The banners are up. As well as the regular busyness of planning for Vestry, plans are afoot for special visits from the Primate and our new area bishop, The Right Rev. Kevin Robertson. We are working hard in our little corner of “the garden”. So hard and busy that perhaps we might forget that our Lord wishes to commune with us. I am wondering if God might be asking us, “Where are you?”.
Let us all take time this Lent to lean into God. Let us be alert and cultivate a silence that will bring us to the heart of God – to the heart of the garden. Our Lenten study this year is called, “Be Still”. I hope you will join me – either in person at 11:00 am Wednesdays or on Zoom Sunday evenings at 7:00 pm. We will be watching a video series aimed at teaching us the many ways to be still and drink in the presence of the One who knows us and loves us like no one else ever could. You can also join me Friday mornings on Zoom for Lectio Divina, an ancient form of praying with Scripture – where we practice being quiet and letting a simple verse or two wash over us. See the church website for links. However you choose to travel through Lent this year – may the peace of Christ sustain you.