One of the biggest differences between Christianity and religions of the world is that in religions of the world, it is about mankind reaching out to a deity for significance. That deity may be unknown or in many cases the deity may be, just something or someone outside of oneself. However the message in Christianity is God reaching out to us in our brokenness. It is God pursuing us in our broken condition.
We have seen this in Genesis as Adam and Eve went away from God and God pursuing them with promises of restoring them after they sinned. God is always calling out to us. He did that with Adam and Eve when they were hiding from God in their clothing they had fashioned for themselves. Before they sinned, scripture tells us they were naked and unashamed. Now, they are ashamed of their nakedness, have made loincloths for themselves and are hiding. But that was not a problem for God. Observe God’s pursuit of them:
8 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. 9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3: 8-13)
As we have been observing, God always calls people and groups of people to fulfill his purposes. (Missio Dei) He calls us, pursues us and equips us. However, as always, it is up to us to respond. God found Adam and Eve. There were consequences for their sin (there always are), but at the same time, we saw last week that there was immediate remedy.
With the banishment from the garden, however, we see the stage is set for another act in God’s divine drama in the story of redemption. This week, we will be looking at God calling a people to reach the world through the Biblical patriarch Abraham. Let’s look forward to God’s reaching out to the world through Abraham, but as we will find out, through us as well. God is calling. Are we listening?