Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
Genesis 5:24 (NIV)
 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:5 (NIV)
A walk-on part…there are two ways of looking at that, and Enoch could be said to encapsulate both views.
If you’re an actor with a walk-on part you at least get to be on stage. You have no lines to speak; you have an opportunity to be memorable simply through your presence and how convincing or unforgettable any action you take is.
Enoch is like that. He appears in the post-Fall and pre-Flood narrative in the Bible. We know he was someone’s son, someone’s father and how long he lived. We are given no back story and he has no lines to deliver in the Genesis epic.
But there is, as I said earlier, a second-way to understand Enoch’s walk-on part…all his life he walked on with God as his constant companion, and apparently that was enough, “he was commended as one who pleased God” (Hebrews 11: 5).
Just a few chapters back in the book we hear how God enjoyed walking with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. Then it all went drastically wrong, our Biblical forebears were kicked out of paradise, and the relationship with God became a bit distant.
But, if the story here means anything at all, it must mean that although the location for the walk has changed a bit, God’s desire for a close relationship with anyone who really wants to walk with him has clearly not changed.
And God went on walking with people just like you and me, until he walked himself right out of heaven and spent time walking across the Holy Land with a rag-tag bunch of followers, showing them that he really is Emmanuel, God with us.
Apparently, the ingredients for a close relationship with God are as simple as believing he exists and wants us to become his walking companions, and having found that out to join in the walk.
And we followers of Jesus sometimes make it all sound so complicated!
In her book “Faith in the Making” (where credit for the inspiration for this post lies), Lyndall Bywater tells a lovely story to explain the verse from Hebrews 5 quoted above.
A little girl was recounting to her parents he things she’d learned about Enoch in her Sunday school session. When it came to explaining how he’d left his mortal life, she scratched her head and thought for a bit, before declaring, ‘What happened was that he kept going for walks with God, and one day he walked such a long way that God said it would be too far to go back to Enoch’s house, so they might as well go to God’s place instead.’
This is the bit that really moved me…what a wonderful way to picture death.
To discover that there is a God who wants to share his life with us in the walk of life, to join up with his walking group and to walk with him through the many adventures of life until one day we walk right out of our world and into his…that’s truly amazing.
And it is enough.
We don’t need to strive to be famous, to do great things, to write books, to make a name for ourselves…although we may be blessed with any and all of those things…we simply need to walk with God, as step-by-step and day-by-day he transforms us into the image of Jesus.
One of the Old Testament prophets summed it all up so well when he said:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 (NIV)
Pingback: ‘Faith in the Making’ Feedback | Lyndall Bywater