Sunday Sheep Ponderings- March 26,2017

Pondering today on being naked.
I have the joy of watching my granddaughter when her mom and dad work. One of our favorite things to do is take off her clothes and just bask in the beauty of all those chubby baby rolls. When we take off her clothes, she just grins from ear to ear and gets so happy. Even in infancy, we long to be free! We instinctively know that we are not meant to be weighed down or hindered. Anna Kate has no shame, no insecurities, no expectations to live up to… no mindsets that make her feel unworthy. No wonder Jesus told us to come to Him as a little child! 
There is so much focus in the religious world on “sin” but I’m not sure why “sin” is so important to us. The Hebrew word for “sin”, chait, simply means to “miss”, to not hit the target in the intended spot, to make a mistake. Who hasn’t done that, right?! Sin is not a list of rights and wrongs that lead to hell. I know many of us have been taught that but it is NOT what the scriptures say. 
Ok, ok…back to being naked! So, in the garden, after Adam and Eve ate from the “Tree of the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil”, they tried to hide from God. Why did they hide??? Because they were naked. But they had always been naked and it had never bothered them before. Why now? All they had ever known was “good” and now their knowledge had changed. Their mindset had made the devastating shift from from ACCEPTED to ASHAMED. God told them not to eat from that tree because He loved them, not because He wanted to weigh them down with rules. He wanted their minds protected from the shame, guilt and condemnation that comes with trying to always hit the target in the right spot. He wanted them to enjoy the abundant life of being naked and unashamed, of being free and unhindered. 
Many (and I was one of them) believe, that what happened in the garden, unleashed the wrath of an angry God on humanity. A wrath so strong that He would need to kill his own son for it to be satisfied. That somehow, a violent murder of His own son, was the only way He could be appeased. I used much more flowery, religious words to say it, but eventually the sugar coating wore off and the harshness of my beliefs left me with a sour taste in my mouth. 
Now, I see things differently. I now look at all scripture through the eyes of love, not wrath. I see now that God never cared if they were naked. He never covered them in shame. He never condemned them but protected and loved them. In Genesis 3:11, God says to a hidden and ashamed Adam, “WHO told you that you were naked?” Do you see that? The accusation didn’t come from God! It came from Adam! And so the fall from ACCEPTED to ASHAMED began for all humanity. The knowledge of good and evil had infected our minds and forever changed the way we see ourselves and others. We became judges. And when you see yourself as a piece of crap, you behave like a piece of crap. But you are NOT a piece of CRAP! 
God has been on a mission since that day in the garden! A mission to restore your mind! A mission of turning you back from ASHAMED to ACCEPTED! A mission of LOVE not wrath! A mission of RESTORATION not condemnation! A mission of SAVING not destroying! He sent Jesus to insure that mission succeeds! Jesus is the exact representation of the Father and ACCEPTANCE, LOVE, RESTORATION AND SALVATION was His message! Jesus came to tell us that our misses (sin) don’t disqualify us, condemn us or define us! 
God didn’t murder His son, we did. When God laid down His life, He crucified ASHAMED so we can know we are UNCONDITIONALLY ACCEPTED. 
My friends, if you feel guilt, condemnation, pressure to measure up…just look at Jesus. See the unconditional love and acceptance in God’s gentle eyes! It will forever change your MIND back to where it was meant to be.
Happy Sunday Beloved! May you embrace your nakedness! 

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