What is your experience of shame? Usually we don’t recognize the ways shame affects us. It lurks well under the surface of our lives stealthily affecting our decision making and actions.
Shame can be defined many ways, but let's think of it as humiliation or distress that attaches to a person’s identity as result of wrong or foolish thought or behavior. These thoughts and behaviors can be our own or those of another toward us.
Adam and Eve were described in the Garden as naked, yet without shame before God or each other. (Genesis 2:25) However, after their sinful rebellion (the Fall) all people throughout history have struggled with shame-infected identities.
Shame is closely tied to feelings and fears, primarily the fear of being found out as flawed, weak, a failure or morally wrong. It leads people – as it did Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 - to hide from each other and/or from God. We hide so we won’t be found out. The more shame we feel, the...
Loneliness is one of the worst experiences people face. God knows this! Referring to Adam, before Eve was created, God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) Everyone experiences loneliness, and it is difficult for us all.
Consider this obscure verse that says, “The Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) This prophetic word was spoken to the king of Judah to convince him that the two armies coming against him in battle would not succeed. It also has a deeper and more profound meaning for all humanity. Matthew quoted this verse (Matthew 1:23) and declared its fulfillment in the birth of Jesus, born of the virgin Mary, but conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Theologically and practically, Jesus is best understood as fully God and fully human. He is the fulfillment of the name...