And the man and his wife were both naked and felt no shame. Gen. 2:25
Gracious Father, it’s nearly impossible for me to imagine the day when there was no need for the emotion of shame. In their innocence, our first parents were absolutely free of any need to turn away from your gaze, or that of one another.
There was nothing to fear or cover up; no need to hide, pose, or pretend; nothing to get defensive or feel guilty about; no need to make excuses or blame the other; no attempt to disappear, do penance, medicate, or try any other broken attempt to deal with the disintegrating effects of shame. What a blessed state of affairs, all lost because of sin.
It is only in you, Lord Jesus, that we now find hope to deal with both our guilt and our shame. For in light of the joy set before you by the Father, you endured the agony of the cross for us, scorning its shame—the shame of being made sin for us, that in you we might become the righteousness of God (Heb. 12:2; 2 Cor. 5:21).
Indeed, Jesus, those who trust in you will never be put to shame, for you took our shame and made it yours (1 Pet. 2:6); as a result, we now live in the present delight and eternal favor of God. O, even more blessed state of affairs. How can we ever praise you enough for such love?
Therefore, Jesus, we cry out for freedom today—freedom in our ongoing struggles with shame, both the shame we feel and the shame we give. Though our guilt has been completely taken care of by your work on the cross, Jesus, we still feel varying degrees of shame, and we act out in a variety of destructive ways.
We vacillate between self-contempt and other-centered contempt; both of these contradict and sabotage the very love by which, and for which, we were saved. Forgive us when, out of fear, anger and pride, we shame others—especially those closest to us. Indeed, we need the freedom you alone can provide, Jesus. Bring the grace and truth of the gospel to bear in profoundly healing and liberating ways, Lord Jesus.
We praise you that as this day begins, we are fully and eternally accepted in you. The gospel is true, beautiful and powerful. So very Amen we pray, in your merciful and mighty name.