Sunday, March 13, 2011

Naked is as Naked Does

This is my favorite Genesis account. The image of God forming men and women from the clay of the Earth, breathing life into them, and placing them in the garden. There is sort of an image of a small child who joyfully makes clay figures, and is delighted in the results. God rejoices in his creation. As the story goes on, Sin enters the hearts of men and women, and they realize they are naked, so they need to cover themselves.

Theologians will tells us that Sin, when we can recognize it, causes shame of who we are; that we have lost something of our dignity. What was created as good and beautiful, has become defiled through Sin, and is desecrated. While some might tell us otherwise, shame and guilt are good things. They give us pause to recognize where there is Sin and brokenness. These feelings can be the springboard to transformation and ultimately accepting God's grace to change.

Truly, excessive guilt is a bad, but to ignore or to justify the guilt or shame we feel is just as bad. Throughout sacred scripture the prophets speak for the people as they proclaim their guilt for injustice and transgressions against the covenant. Even today as a Church we have readily admitted the injury caused through sexual abuse. In these moments the leaders of the peoples have made resolutions to change and transform their lives. Thus their new path is guided by God's grace leading to a place of healing and righteousness.

Like the Adam and Eve, we cannot ignore our 'nakedness.' Conversion from sin and the affects of evil begin when we can be honest with ourselves. When our response to God or others causes distance or brokenness, then we have a problem that needs to be resolved. Holy men and women take time to see where the image of God's likeness has been compromised. What do we need to do to restore ourselves to that original dignity.

Just as we are planted in a garden, Jesus Christ brings us salvation and peace in a garden. How is our garden growing.

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