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Between Adam's Finger and God's

You see, since time began we have been separated from God. And, as I say all the time, God has been, since time began, trying to bridge that gap, trying to reach us, trying to touch us.

And religion, according to philosopher Louis Dupre, is how we reach out toward God. It’s how we try to bridge the gap from our end of this divide.

Remember Michelangelo’s depiction of Creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? In it is the iconic image of Adam-- stretched out on the ground, dazed and confused, one arm, one hand, reaching out toward an old and slightly wild looking God, who’s also stretching out an arm, a hand, with one finger almost touching Adam’s. In between is a teeny space separating God from humanity. Separating us from God.

Dupre says that our entire life is lived in that tiny space between God’s finger and Adam’s hand. Trying to bridge that gap.

The problem is, we don’t know how. We try to be good and faithful Christians, but it doesn’t always work. It doesn’t work because we forget to do what Jesus told us to do--believe and to trust in him.

It doesn’t work because instead of letting go and trusting God, we hold on and try to do it on our own: “Just show us how to do it and we’ll do it ourselves, God. We really don’t need this Jesus fellow…just give us the magic formula and we’ll take care of things.”  That never works….

You see, Jesus is the one who fills up that tiny space between God’s finger and Adam’s hand. Jesus bridges that gap, so tiny in the painting, so vast in our lives. What we need to do is climb up on that bridge, walk across it and touch the outstretched hand of God.

It really is that simple: just walk.

- Catherine Dempesy, excerpted from "Just Walk," a sermon on John 6:24-35, preached on August 5, 2012 at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Buffalo, NY