November 01, 2019

Where Are You?

Genesis 3:8-13

The LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

—  Genesis 3:9

“Where are you?” God asks Adam. This question is not about where Adam and Eve are hiding. Something bigger than that is happening here.

Genesis 1 and 2 give the glorious account of our creative God creating everything—including us human beings. Then Genesis 3 tells of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, their fall into sin, which now infects all of us. The fruit looked delicious and desirable, but all it revealed was that they were naked. They tried to hide from God in their shame, making simple garments of fig leaves. Where were they? To answer God’s question, they were lost.

God’s footsteps echoed in the garden, and his voice boomed, “Where are you?” God knew, but they needed to know they were lost.

“Who told you that you were naked?” God asked. Like naughty children, they tried the blame game. “The woman you put here gave me the fruit,” whimpered Adam. “The serpent (you made) fooled me,” Eve whined.

Today God still asks, “Where are you?” I heard it when I was in college; I was lost, vulnerable, and scared. God pursued me into my wilderness, where the haunting question suddenly turned comforting. He wasn’t out to get me into trouble but to give me the promise that he’d provided a Savior, his Son. “Stay where you are. I’ve sent my Son for you!” God assured me. Do you know this God, who desires to be with you?

Loving God, chase me and grace me with new life, fully clothed in Jesus’ righteousness. I am found! And I praise you! Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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