Adam and Eve were created naked, but were not ashamed. Once they ate of the tree of knowledge, their eyes were opened and they saw their nakedness. This led to shame...and work to hide that shame. Eventually, when God showed up, He found them hiding behind some shrubbery (thanks to Monty Python for the word).
We are often told by religious folks that "God cannot be in the presence of sin." Oftentimes this ridiculous notion is used to claim that while Jesus was hanging on the cross, the Father turned his back on him. We are also told that this is why we feel so alone when we "sin," because God doesn't dwell with sinners. I propose that this is false. Truth be told, every time someone sinned in the bible, God showed up.
So what "separated" us from God? According to Paul, nothing; but, humanity's natural reaction to God is to hide due to shame. Religion shames us, giving us a standard that we cannot attain. We always fall short, woefully short; and this causes us shame. We hide from God. We "turn our backs on God." It is due to shame.
So, what is repentance? It is when God tells us to "turn around." Note that OUR natural reaction is facing away from God. That is NOT his natural reaction. His natural reaction is to "call us to 'repentance'" which literally means "to turn around." God calls us to turn around, to be unashamed, to receive the mercy and love that He is offering to all.
The Law shamed God's people. God never left His people. They just needed to turn around (repent) to see Him. They feared Him, but He loved them that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us..."
So turn around...taste and see that the Lord is good...all who are thirsty, come to the water...
By Ed Burley
By Ed Burley