June 10 – Third Sunday After Pentecost
by Pastor Pete Scheele
Read Genesis 3:1 – 24
Grace and peace to you as you let God build your relationship with Him, from God, our Father, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
In Genesis chapter one we are told how God created the world and at the end of that chapter we are told about how God created His perfect relationship with mankind. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Gen 1:26 – 27)
In Genesis chapter 2 we learn about how God created a relationship between Men and Women. We are told, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” So, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.” (Gen 2: 18, 21 – 22)
In Genesis chapter 3 we are told about how this perfect relationship that God had created between mankind and Himself and between man and woman was changed to be the way that it is today. What kind of relationship do you have with the person sitting closes to you? Is it perfect? I’m sure that each of us would honestly have to say that our relationship with each other is far from being perfect. I’m also sure that each of us would be willing to say that our relationship between one another is at times challenging. So, what happened to that perfect relationship that God gave to us? Why is it so hard to have a good relationship with our spouse whom God make to be our helper, fit for us? That’s a tough question, isn’t it? Yet, God though His words shows us our future.
What kind of relationship do you have with God? Could you answer this question if someone asked it of you? “Did God actually say, . . .?” It’s not all that hard to find the answer to a question like this with today’s technology. All you have to do is go to your smart phone and open up google and ask the question and it will bring you an answer to you or you can open your Bible and look in the Concordance of your Bible for a reference to all the places in the Bible where God actually says those words.
That’s wasn’t so easy for Eve at the beginning of time when Satan ask her, “Did God actually say, . . .?” But then she had a perfect relationship with God just like she had a perfect relationship with her husband, which is something that we have never known. So, she was able to answer the question of Satan because she knew God’s Word. What about you and me?
Each of us have been asked that same question, many different times and in many different ways. “Did God actually say, . . .?” Sometimes we asked that question of ourselves to find guidance in doing something. Other times we or someone else asks that question to justify something we want to do or have just done. The question comes from not having a perfect relationship with God, Satan chose not to have a relationship with God from the beginning of time and wants each of us not to have a relationship with God also. So how does Satan get you to destroy your relationship with God, your creator and with one another? By focusing your relationship on you, instead of God or the other people. By encouraging each of us to be self-focused instead of God focused or focused on your loved ones, we destroy our relationship.
So, what are some of the signs of a broken relationship? Well one of the most obvious signs for a broken relationship? Hiding! “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.” (Gen 3:8) Adam and Eve had never hidden from God before because they had nothing to hide from each other or from God in their perfect relationship with God and each other, but now they hid, because they broke that relationship by not trusting the love and care that God, their creator, had given to them.
Giving up our trust in the love that our creator has for us is the temptation that we are all tempted with, just like Adam and Eve were. But God wants to give us His love and wants to build up our relationship with Him in that love so He calls out to us, “Where are you?” Where are you in your relationship with God and with one another? Are you hiding? If you are hiding from God you are deceived because God your creator is all knowing and all seeing.
The first step is getting back into the relationship that has been broken, is to talk and especially talk about what you see is different and explain why you felt the need to hide something from God or from the person you want to build your relationship with. Adam did that, by saying, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (Gen. 3:10)
What are you afraid of? Death is the answer most of us would say is the greatest thing that we fear. That’s what Adam and Eve were afraid of, because they knew God’s words and He had said to them, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen. 2:17-18)
All relationship can die, but there is only one loss relationship that bring eternal death and that is the loss of our relationship with God, our creator, redeemer and sanctifier. God wants a relationship with each of us so much that He sent His Only Son, Jesus Christ into this world to redeem us of all our sins so that He can bring that loving relationship back to us again in this broken world and in the perfect world He wants to take each of us to be with Him forever.
“Who told you . . .?” That’s the question that God asked Adam because it’s important to know where you get your information. Is the information that you are basing everything on from God, the source of all that is good and perfect, or the world that is sinful and corrupt.
“Have you eaten . . .?” The words of the world and made them your knowledge or “Have you eaten . . .?” The words of God, that lead you back to a perfect relationship with God in His love, peace and joy. God has given us His Word and Sacraments so that the Holy Spirit can go to work in our lives to bring us back into a loving relationship with Him and all mankind. That’s Sanctification, but the world and Satan are filling up our world with their words and thoughts in everything that we do to keep us out of God’s Word and out of the loving relationship that God wants to give to us.
“What is this that you have done?” That’s the question that God asked Eve because He want her to know the seriousness of breaking the relationship that He has made for us. Why would anyone want eternal death with Satan and all the evil of this world instead of life in God’s perfect love, peace and joy for eternity? “What is this that you have done?” That’s the question God wants us to think about also, so that we will respond to His call to us and receive the grace, mercy and forgiveness He has purchased and won for us through the life, death and resurrection of His Only Son, Jesus Christ.
Oh, we can blame someone else for tempting us or leading us into a bad relationship, but it was our choice, centered on the relationship that we have with the world and Satan instead of God’s love for us. Adam and Eve broke that perfect relationship God had created for them and God covered their sins by the death of a Lamb. For we are told, “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” (Gen. 3:21) The Lamb of God that came to take away the sins of the world, is Jesus Christ. The Lamb of God died for all of us to cloth us with the righteousness of God’s love, grace and mercy, now and forever. That’s what you need to cover your sins with, not hiding in this world! That the choice God has given to you and the difference is between life and death, fear and trust, love and hatred.
So Where are you? That’s the call that God is speaking to you and me as we listen to the words of the world and forget to hold tightly to the words of God’s love, grace and mercy. God knew that we would fall into the deceptions of Satan and so He calls, “Where are you?” and waiting for our confession so that He can give us the Salvation purchased and won for us by His Only Son. So, where do you want to be? God has cursed Satan by Jesus Christ, God’s Son, coming into this sin filled world to conquer Satan for us and give us back the loving relationship that He wants us to have with Him. So, where are you? Are you sharing God’s Love with your loved ones and the rest of the world or is your relationship centered on what you want right now?
It’s all about the relationship between God and us? God is offering us His robes of righteousness to cover our sinfulness, but it’s our choice to but it on or go on ourselves. What is your relationship with God like? What relationship do you want with your loved ones and other people? God’s love can make the difference and the Holy Spirit is waiting to give you that relationship through God’s Word and Sacraments forever. For God so love you that He gave His Only Son for You. Amen.