Welcome back to the second in this Advent series on Immanuel, “God with us.” We begin by going back to the very Beginning, to the Garden of Eden. In the first two chapters of the Bible, God created an amazing garden for Adam and Eve. It was a delightful place, a good place to walk with a friend. And in Gen. 3:8, we find that God was strolling in the garden, looking for His friends.
Thus, the first thing we learn about “God with us” is that from the very start, God’s intention has always been to be with us. He created a perfect environment where God and man could be together forever. Adam was welcome to eat from the Tree of Eternal Life, but told not to sample fruit from the Tree that offered the knowledge of good and evil. However, Adam and Eve plucked fruit from the forbidden tree even before they tried the fruit of the first tree. And as a result of their disobedience, God cast them out of the Garden. Suddenly Adam and Eve knew the desolation of what it meant to live apart from God, to live “not” with Him.
Today, many people still live outside the Garden. They don’t know that, in Christ, they can have eternal life and experience anew that wonderful companionship of “God with us.” It is as if these people are walking through a farmers’ market and smelling the fresh apples and ripe pears but never tasting the sweet flesh of those fruits.
As we part today, consider going to your refrigerator and picking out a fresh crisp apple. Slice it, taste it, savor the sweetness and crispness. And think about our God’s original desire: to be with us.