Tuesday of Pentecost 3 – Genesis 3:8-15 

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. 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.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
    cursed are you above all livestock
    and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
    and dust you shall eat
    all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.”

My brother and his young family used to clean the church on Saturday afternoons. One day, after they had been cleaning for a while, my brother noticed a small round hole in the drywall in the hallway. He had not seen it earlier. It looked fresh, in fact there was some dust still on the carpet. He assembled his five young children and asked if anyone knew what had happened. He was met with silence. Being a creative and perceptive person, my brother then proposed that each of them make up a story about how this hole had come into the drywall in the hallway.

One child imagined that a small rhinoceros had escaped from the zoo and been chased into church and down the hallway. Its horn had made the hole in the wall. Another imagined a battle in the hallway. Other fanciful suggestions were forthcoming. Finally, his littlest child said that maybe someone had moved the upright vacuum cleaner and the handle had fallen backward and made a hole in the wall.

God walked in the garden and called out, “Where are you?” God knew what had happened and he knew that Adam and Eve were hiding behind the rhododendron bush over there. God was not really interested in bringing them to justice. He was far more interested in them. He drew out of them their confession and he re-established relationship with them, a relationship which sin had curdled with fear and guilt. My brother and his child worked together to fix that hole in the wall. They laugh about this story now. This fear and guilt which had silenced the sinner was forgiven and rests in the context of loving deeds and kind words. It is done. God had good words which He wanted to speak to Adam and Eve that day, words of a promised seed, a son, who would crush the power of Satan and end all fear and guilt. He wanted to tell them of Jesus. The same Jesus which the church my brother’s family cleaned was built to honor and glorify.

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