Collect of the Week (Proper 20-C)
O Lord, keep Your Church in Your perpetual mercy, and because without You we cannot but fall, preserve us from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Genesis 2:18-25 (From the Daily Bible Story Lectionary)
18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for1 him." 19 So out of the ground the LORD God formed1 every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam1 there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made1 into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
"This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man."
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Catechism: The Creed—The First Article
What is the First Article?
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
What does this mean?
I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them.
He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house, and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.
He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil.
All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.
This is most certainly true.
In the name of T Jesus.
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. We tend to focus on the nakedness, and are tempted to think that is the main difference between Adam and Eve prior to the fall, and all of humanity since the fall. And granted; that is different. But what is most significant is that they were completely unashamed.
Since Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, and were in complete communion with the will of God, there was absolutely no reason for shame. Their bodies were beautifully good, and there was no lust in their hearts. They worked the earth and never complained. They were joined in the one-flesh union of holy matrimony and there was no burden. Their every act, word, thought, and desire was good and pleasing. And there was no shame.
We’ve never known such an existence. Our whole lives have been lived with a will that is contrary to the will of God. Since sin entered through Adam, and Adam has passed it on to every human since, we have been conceived in sin, brought forth in iniquity, and have had every sinful desire known to man flowing from our hearts. Where Adam and Eve were completely unashamed, the Law of God declares that we have every reason for shame.
But not in Christ.
In Christ, God heals our shame. Not by allowing us to ignore our sin, but by taking our shamefulness and putting it upon Jesus. By virtue of our sin and guilt and shame being nailed with Christ to the cross, we are declared to be shameless, new creations once again (1 Jn 2:28).
Like Adam and Eve, who stood before God without any reason for shame, in Christ, we can stand without shame once again.
In the name of T Jesus. Amen.
Jesus, Thy boundless love to me
No thought can reach, no tongue declare;
Unite Thy love possess me whole,
And reign without a rival there!
Thine wholly, Thine alone I am;
Be Thou alone my constant flame.
O grant that nothing in my soul
May dwell, but Thy pure love alone;
Oh, may Thy love possess me whole,
My joy, my treasure, and my crown!
All coldness from my heart remove;
My ev’ry act, word, thought be love. (LSB, 683:1 & 2)
Daily Prayer (For Thursday)
We pray…for the Church and her pastors; for teachers, deaconesses, and other church workers; for missionaries and for all who serve the Church; for fruitful and salutary use of the blessed Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood.