Thursday, March 10, 2011

Naked Without Shame

“No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.” Hebrews 4: 13

Why do little kids love to run around naked? I’m telling you, if we let them, almost everyone of my kids—when they were toddlers—would’ve preferred to wear their birthday suit everyday for several years. The reality is that they are not ashamed.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were naked without shame as well. But then they sinned before God and that action cost them their original sense of shamelessness and brought guilt, fear and regret into the world.

It is interesting that in our world today, the style of fashion is to expose more and more skin, while at the same time trying to rid ourselves of any shame or guilt. But we can only be redeemed to our original innocence by the blood of Christ. Children know this innocence intrinsically and live in it. You and I have grown-up, and like Adam and Eve, have tasted from the tree of good and evil and have developed a new knowledge in our lives—a knowledge that unfortunately includes shame, fear, guilt and regret. And the more we live in this reality, the further away redemption seems.

And so Mother Church, in her goodness, invites us once a year to go into the desert with Jesus for forty days. We go to purge ourselves of self-knowledge and pride, to cast-off our sin and the lies that veil the eyes of our hearts, to expose ourselves to the merciful gaze of our Father and to allow Jesus to redeem us from our present state to the original innocence we were created in. We go to let go of the masks and false pretenses, to seek forgiveness and to relinquish the control we think we have over our lives. We venture into the desert with so much baggage and hope to return with nothing but God.

Let us venture into Lent boldly this year, with a determination and will to let God cut us down to the core, to be stripped of everything that is not of Him, from Him or for Him. Let us be willing to die to ourselves—naked, like Jesus—so that come Easter, we may rise with Him clothed in power and majesty!

Dear Jesus, take me with You on this journey into the desert, so that I can learn to let go of everything in my life and put on Your love and be content. Amen.

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