Friday 18 September
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Shame

In this meditation Amanda MacQuarrie writes about shame. It explores the all too common feelings of guilt, anxiety, humiliation, and hurt that can weigh us down and physically turn us in on ourselves and against the world. Amanda illustrates this pain while showing us that it is possible to unwind, to relax our grip and that ultimately we can find comfort in the presence of the love of God.


Shame.

Even the word makes us cringe!

It diminishes us,

Turns us inward,

Ready to run,

Ready to hide,

Ready to turn away from the light.


That sinking feeling inside,

Gut wrenching,

Sickness.


It’s a heavy cloak – shame,

Enshrouding,

Binding,

Imprisoning.

But it’s not God-given!


Abba,

Maker and keeper,

The One whose love fills us with wonder,

We bow before you,

But we long to run,

To hide.

We look at ourselves,

At our messy lives,

At the ways in which we let you down,

At what we think of as failure,

And we cringe and shy away from you,

Our heads bow in shame, our shoulders droop in defeat.


And yet,

You meet us here,

Arms wide open,

Reaching out,

Forgiving and loving,

And instead of rebuking us,

You whisper our name,

Tenderly putting your finger beneath our chin,

And lifting, so that our gaze meets yours…


You take off that old dirty cloak of shame, and you cloak us in your grace, your mercy,

Your righteousness.

Why?

Because you love us,

Not because of who we are,

But because of who you are!

What love, what mercy, what grace!


Amanda MacQuarrie

Words of comfort

Genesis 3: 8-12

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Hebrews 12: 1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Prayers

You meet us here

You meet us here,

Arms wide open,

Reaching out,

Forgiving and loving,

And instead of rebuking us,

You whisper our name,

Tenderly putting your finger beneath our chin,

And lifting, so that our gaze meets yours…

Your grace, your mercy

You take off that old dirty cloak of shame, and you cloak us in your grace, your mercy,

Your righteousness.

Why?

Because you love us,

Not because of who we are,

But because of who you are!

What love, what mercy, what grace!