He Still Calls
Friday of Pentecost 3
15 June 2018
God calls to the man Adam; seeking the one who has hidden himself in shame, fear, and despair, "Where are you" (Gn 3:9)? He is the seeking God as much today as He was at the beginning of time. He calls you now. He comes to seek and save that which was lost. He never stops. He is coming. He is coming. He is coming. Coming to save.

We hear this message that He returns to us only as a threat and we flee. Yet how fatherly He was even to our forebears when seeking them. They had broken His will. They had doubted His Word to them. His promise was considered useless. He had every reason to cast them off forever. His wrath could have burned through Eden, undoing in a second all that He had created in a week of careful, loving toil. It was all for them and they had rejected Him and His precious gifts.

What could they say in the face of the God they feared. Adam stammers out His accusative excuse: "It was her and it was You, who made her!" In his spiritual confusion his conflicting thoughts accused or even excused them (Rm 2:15). He went from bad to worse in a heartbeat; a heart now racing in fear of God. They weren't very good at confession, were they? Nor are we any better. We all howl, "It's not my fault!" It's her fault! It's his fault. It's Your fault!

When God calls, "Where are you?" How do you answer? You flee and hide and blame and make excuses just like them. You are lost like them. You are running like them.

But like them, God will not leave you wandering the mazes of the broken and dying human spirit. Our enemy He has put down, making him a belly crawler whose head will be crushed by the One whom He has sent.

There is no way to answer the call, "Where are you?" without knowing of the Offspring sent by God to suffer and in that suffering to crush the head of our enemy. When God calls for you, when His agonized love seeks you and calls you, "Where are you?" He knows the answer. You cannot hide. He knows the answer. You cannot run where He cannot go.

He gives the answer! The Offspring will answer for you, "Here I am!" In Isaiah the prophet, He says, "My people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here I am" (Is 52:6). When He calls, the Son of God answers for us. He becomes what Paul calls the last Adam. "The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit" (1Co 15:45). The first Adam became the death-bringer. The last Adam, Jesus, became the life-giver.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"After their conscience has been convicted by the Law and they feel their disgrace before God and themselves, Adam and Eve lose their confidence in God and are so filled with fear and terror that when they hear a breath or a wind, they immediately think God is approaching to punish them; and they hide. I, too, think that by the voice of the Lord, who was walking about, Moses means the wind or the sound of the wind, which preceded the appearance of the Lord. Similarly, in the Gospel Christ says of the wind (Jn 3:8): "You hear its sound." When they heard the leaves rustling as if they were being moved by the wind, they thought: "Behold, now the Lord is coming to demand punishment from us."

"Therefore, when Moses later adds: 'Toward, the wind of the day,' it seems to me that he is explaining himself, as if he were saying: 'There was a sound like that of the wind of the day,' so that emphasis lies on the word 'day.' He does not refer to the wind in the night, because he wants to lay greater emphasis on the prodigious fear which followed sin, as if he were saying: 'They were so fearful that even in the bright light of day they were afraid of the rustling of a leaf.' What would have happened if God had come in the dark and during the night? For then the terror is far greater. Just as light makes men courageous, so darkness increases their fear. This fear, which overtook Adam and Eve in the very light of day after their sin, is a clear indication that they had fallen completely from the faith."

Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, 3.9

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
Almighty God, through Your Word and Spirit You most wonderfully created all things, and through the Word made flesh You brought new life to fallen humanity. Grant that in Your mercy we may be conformed to the image of Him who shares fully in our humanity, even Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

For the gathering of the Blind Ministry at Memorial Lutheran Church tomorrow, that the grace of Christ would abound among them

For the gathering of the Houston young singles at Memorial Lutheran Church tomorrow, that they may find joy in each other and in the gifts of the Lord granted to them

For all Christians as they live out their lives in service to their neighbors, that they would find their joy made complete in Christ and fulfilled in that life of service

For all earthly fathers, that they may reflect the love and compassion to their families that the father of all mercies and grace has shown to them
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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