Saturday, June 22, 2024

No Need to Hide

[Originally published in the Monroe News on June 21, 2024]

Do you remember those Southwest Airlines commercials from the early 2000s?  They were the “Wanna Get Away” commercials.  Lots of good, fun embarrassing moments in those commercials.  One of my favorites was the Ancient Art of Sand Painting commercial.  They show these artists working on this beautiful piece of sand art and a tour guide explaining how they had been working on carefully placing grains of sand for over eight days.  Another woman with a camera leans in to take a picture and then suddenly sneezes, ruining everything.  The narrator cuts in “wanna get away?”

In life’s embarrassing and shameful moments we are stricken with this innate desire to want to get away.  We want to run and hide from the shame we are feeling.  Its something we all share.  You see it in our toddlers when they know they’ve done something wrong and they hide in the corner or under the bed.  You see it in relationships when people don’t know how to talk to each other and avoid each other.  It is a part of our broken nature to hide and to cover up our shame and embarrassment.

This started in the beginning.  The first man and woman, Adam and Eve, knew this desire of hiding.  They knew it the moment they ate from the forbidden tree and disobeyed God’s Law.  Their first inclination after realizing their wrong, was to run and hide.

Now ask yourself, what do you think should have and could have happened next?  Should Adam and Eve have decided on their own to pack their own bags and hightail it out of the Garden of Eden?   Should God have smitten them from heaven and started over?  Should God have doled out great punishment on them to show them what’s what?

Well here is what God did.  He came looking for them.  He called out to them.  He acted like a shepherd seeking out a lost sheep or a parent lovingly bringing a wayward child back home. God showed Adam and Eve love and grace and mercy in His response to their sin.  There were consequences to come but they were surely overshadowed by God’s promise of mercy and a Savior to them.  A Savior who would defeat the devil and ultimately restore mankind.  That Savior of course being Jesus.

Here’s the point of it all:  with our God, we don’t need to hide!  We don’t need to run away.  We don’t need to cower in the corner in our embarrassment.  We don’t need to hide our shame from our Lord.  This isn’t simply because He already knows it all (by the way, He does.)  It is because He loves us. We can bring our sin before Him, confess it, lay it before His cross, and be rid of it. We are in relationship with Him.  He loves us, He has grace in store for us, and He proved it when Jesus died on the cross. 

What other kind of relationship do you know in which you would never need to hide, never need to worry about being betrayed, never need to worry about how much the other party loves you. God loves you unconditionally, always and forever.  No need to hide, ever again.

To God be the glory.

Mark Witte is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church. 
You can contact him at pastorwitte@gmail.com


 





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