"Where are you?"
After Adam and Eve fell into sin the Bible tells us that they tried to hide from God (Genesis 3) because they were now guilty of sin and they were no longer comfortable in the presence of the holy God. But while they were hiding from God, God Himself was on the hunt for them. God was walking through the Garden crying out with a loud voice to Adam, "where are you?"
Several things catch my attention in this story. For one thing, isn't it odd that God who is omniscient, would be asking where Adam is? God knew exactly where Adam was. God's question was for Adam to hear and to ponder on just what Adam had done. God wanted Adam to think about what had just happened and what it meant.
The other thing that I find interesting is that it was God who initiates this reunion of Adam and God. Adam is trying to get as far away from God as possible, and God is trying to get as close to Adam as possible. Isn't that the common theme throughout all of Scripture ... and in fact throughout all of life even today. Man sins and hides and separates himself from God while God loves and forgives and pleads for man to return to Him.
So where are you in all of this? As we look at life in the church today we recognize a disturbing trend. This trend is to worship less. This trend is certainly visible within my own lifetime. The numbers of people in worship on any given weekend is significantly less than it was 30 years ago. It seems that this trend is characteristic of the worship life in general of every denomination in America. I'm not quite sure just exactly what causes someone to cut back on the number of times
they worship (or desire to be in the presence of God). For Adam it was sin. There may be other things that hinder worship attendance, like work or illness or an emergency of some kind. But apart from those legitimate hindrances, I would submit that in all honesty sin is still the cause of most of the absence from worship we witness today. And might I interject here that perhaps one serious sin to consider is the sin of selfishness. We have a tendency to think way too much about ourselves and what we want and what we deserve and what we are entitled to and what we deserve. It seems to me that one very common reason for absence from worship today is the selfishness that drives so much of what a person thinks and does.
So again I ask, "where are you?" Are you one who is often hiding from God or are you one who is looking for God? That you will have to answer for yourself. But one thing I can answer for all of us is that God is still walking through His world crying out to everyone "Where are you?" and inviting us to return to Him, to His grace and mercy, to His forgiving love, to the salvation He offers to everyone who believes in Jesus.
Listen! He's calling now! He's calling our names! Let's return to Him together! See you in church next Sunday!