11 This is because the one who makes people holy and the people who are being made holy all come from one source. That is why Jesus isn’t ashamed to call them brothers and sisters when he says,
12 I will publicly announce your name to my brothers and sisters.
I will praise you in the middle of the assembly.
For some people, unfortunately, faith and shame seem to go hand-in-hand. In our journeys of faith, our ethics and morality often grow and reshape themselves, but for some this can create a heightened sense in ourselves as to what is wrong. It can be difficult when there are so many texts from scripture and words preached in the world about what not to do. How are we supposed to escape shame in that environment? One of my favorite books by a modern pastor is all about reclaiming an identity as God’s holy creation after a life of feeling too ashamed to be worthy of God’s love.
I myself, despite being raised with a very gracious theology, have experienced shame that made me second guess my understanding of God being undeniably loving. I remember one time when I visited a church and was shamed to tears for my attire. I couldn’t help but scoff when I saw the words, “COME AS YOU ARE” at the top of the bulletin. The words they said did not match the theology they wanted to project. I also understood very well in that moment that my being a woman had much to do with the criticism.
Here in this text, it speaks of how Jesus isn’t ashamed of us…so why are we often ashamed of ourselves? Jesus is SO proud of your identity as a child created in God’s image that Jesus is shouting from the rooftops about what an awesome sibling He has. Let’s cheer on one another and ourselves with that same enthusiasm.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Where has shame crept into your life? What causes it? What reminder do you need today that Jesus is not ashamed of you?
Prayer: Brother Christ, you have made us good and holy in your image. Yet we get stuck on the spots where that image is flawed. Bring peace to our hearts today, God, so that we may not be weighed down by shame but instead flourish as your beloved creations. Amen.