Commentary on the Gospel of
The name of the always-popular children’s game, “Hide and Seek,” might be a fitting description of the back-and-forth relationship of human beings and God. We recall the simple, direct relationship of Adam and Eve with God in the Garden, a relationship which abruptly changes after “the fall.” At that point in their relationship we are told, “. . . the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” Despite their attempt to hide, God seeks them and finds them.
Psalm 139 takes up this theme, though we hear it through the words of someone who, it seems, wants to be found, who delights in the nearness of God: “You know me: you know when I sit and stand . . .with all my ways you are familiar . . .Where can I hide from your spirit? . . . You knit me in my mother’s womb.”
In the Letter to the Hebrews today, we hear the strong assertion: “No creature is concealed from him.” The directness of these words is meant to convince us that no amount of hiding can change the fact that we are known. And, strengthened by the blessed days of Christmas so recently celebrated, we profess Jesus as God-in-our-flesh, who has come to “seek out and save what was lost.” This calls us to confidence in being known, because he has come to save us.
In the light of these truths, the question is: how do we greet those words, “No creature is concealed from him”? What thoughts and feelings arise in us when we hear them? Do they evoke fear, the desire to hide? Or do these words come as a blessing, producing relief with the knowledge that “I am known” and have no need to fear? Today we want to ask that any fear which we experience might be related to Jesus so that we may give up hiding and rejoice at being found!