Reflections: February 22, 2021
Monday of the First Week of Lent
By Aaron T. Fenker
"And the LORD God made garments of leather for Adam and for his wife, and He clothed them." (Genesis 3:21)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Lord clothes you. You don't clothe yourself. You can try. Adam and Eve did. It didn't work. They were still hiding from God. They were naked, exposed. They had to hide from each other. Now there was shame. They had to hide from God, too! He was going to get them, after all. "Walking in the Garden in the cool of the day." Then they tried to hide behind a tree. When that didn't work, Adam hid behind Eve; used her as a scapegoat to blame God. "The woman YOU gave me." Eve tried to hide behind the serpent! "The devil made me do it."
We try it, too. We must hide what we do. We throw other people under the bus to save our own skin. We cover the bad we do with more good in the hopes of tipping the scales in our favor. We certainly have to do that for the things we think and don't even act on! Outwardly good and put together. Inwardly a mess and a sinner, so outwardly, too!
The Lord doesn't wait for Adam and his wife to get their act together. He doesn't wait for them to defeat the devil. He doesn't wait for them to get the right kind of works, the best repentance, the prettiest outfits in His sight. If the Lord were to wait for any action on our part--granted He's got the time--He'd have to wait forever!
So, the Lord acts. He promises and saves. "His mercy draws to repentance" (Romans 2:4). He tells the serpent: "Her Seed will crush your head." That Seed is Jesus. He comes to take care of the devil once and for all. He would die to do it: "You will strike His heel." The Lord killed an animal to clothe Adam and His wife, and so Jesus would be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He restored access to the Tree of Life, the fruit of His Cross--water and blood, for you.
There's no need to gussy yourself up before the Lord. No works, no proper motives, no repentance will earn you anything with Him. He must clothe you. And He does. In the death of His Son, He does. Holy Baptism. You are clothed with Jesus' good works. Why try to hide behind your own? When God sees you, He sees His beloved child. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Taste and see the bliss of heaven Known by saints around the throne, Where the Lamb, in closest union, Lives to love and feed His own. From His riven side forever Flows the purest stream of love, Love that robes us with the raiment Worn by all who feast above. ("In the Shattered Bliss of Eden" LSB 572, st.5)
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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