Wednesday 26th of July 2017
Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before
him endured the cross, scorning its shame
Shame does not coexist comfortably with joy. Experiences of shame eat
away at the spiritual and emotional foundations on which joy is built.
When we are consumed by shame, joy will keep its distance. But shame has
a way of getting to us. Our defenses against the clever tactics of shame
are not well developed.
Jesus is a powerful example to us of how to resist shame and make room
for joy. First, Jesus ‘scorned’ shame. He did not give it a stature which
it did not deserve. Experiences of shame did not define who he was. He
was not just the sum of the shame he had experienced in life. His identity
and person were securely rooted in God. So, he was able to experience shaming
experiences without internalizing the shame.
Secondly, Jesus had ‘joy set before him’. Experiences of shame hurt
us. Shame is always hurtful. But we are not entirely defenseless. Jesus
drew strength to endure shame from the anticipation of joy. Shame can be
better endured if we allow ourselves to remember that God has plans for
us that include joy. We are not aimlessly adrift in life, headed nowhere,
wanderers in a meaningless maze. On the contrary, every day takes us closer
to the fulfillment of God’s purposes. Justice and righteousness will reign
in the end. Jesus’ followers share his conviction that joy, not shame,
is God’s purpose in creation.
Today we can root ourselves in God’s love for us. We can scorn the shame.
We can remind ourselves that God’s plans for us include joy.
Help me to scorn shame, Lord.
Help me to root myself so completely in you
that shame has no power over me.
Help me to see the joy you have set before me, Lord.
Remind me today of your plans.
Help me to draw strength today
from the hope that your plans for me include joy.
Copyright 2017 Dale and Juanita Ryan
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