What Does This Mean?
Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “what does this mean?” Over these last months (which have been amazing and perplexing in themselves), we hear the question being asked over and over, “what does ‘this’ mean?”
I’ve asked myself that same question a time or two. Every time I sit at my desk and read a scripture that has the potential to become a sermon, I ask that question. What does this mean…to me; to you; to my community of faith; to our nation? What does it mean? That age-old question put forth to Jesus, “what is truth?” What does ‘this’ mean?
As we sit in our homes, we’ve read and heard all there is to hear and read about the ‘ronavirus. I have read and learned what drug works this week but doesn’t next; when to wear a mask and when not to wear a mask--which were the same--and far too often the confusing advice and news were from the same people. I personally know those who have been tested as asymptomatic, symptomatic, ill, recovered, and, sadly, lost the battle. And the final exasperating view, I--and we--ask, “what does this mean?”
But in the midst, with thanksgiving, these thoughts and questions have been balanced, and sometimes answered, by spending time outside. We’ve had the privilege of spending extra time in our gardens this year. I’ve planted quite a few new medicinal herbs; we have a little raised vegetable garden, and we’ve planted flowers. I hope you, too, have had the opportunity to join me in listening to the birds sing, the bees buzz, and the rabbits munch in the grass.
Our God walked with our primordial parents, Adam and Eve, in the cool of the evening. Have you ever really given that much thought? I have. It is one of the most beautiful ideas that Scripture shares. They had the distinct privilege to walk with God in the cool of the evening. I can imagine those two perfect humans walking hand in hand through a lush garden brimming with flowers, vegetables, and herbs; the smell was luscious as their hands brushed by and touched each plant. I can imagine the knowledge of Emmanuel in the garden with them--His presence as close as the gardenia blooming on the vine.
Isn’t that what we have today? Certainly, there are areas of the garden far removed from Eden, but not the presence. As we approach Pentecost, isn’t it amazing to imagine the God of Adam and Eve walking with us in the cool of the evening, in the person of the Holy Spirit? With every breeze blows the love and meaning of life. The sense of loving and being loved. God with us. So, as you walk in the evening, or the morning, or in the noonday light, and feel the gentle breeze or the beam of sunlight, the answer to the question, “what does this mean,” is right here--God with us, nothing else matters at all.