“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven whose sin is covered.”
Adam and Eve heard the sound of God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day. There had been no separation between God and His perfect creation before the fall. God and those whom He had created dwelt together in perfect harmony. But after Adam and Eve has disobeyed God, when they heard God, they hid themselves from God among the trees, a futile and ironic choice. The reason they were hiding from God is because for the first time they knew shame. They now realized that they were naked and they felt guilt for their failure to keep God’s Word and to be content with the gifts that He gives. And so, in their sin and shame, they hid from God. But the all-knowing God plays out their little charade until they acknowledge their sin. And while there are consequences for their sin, there is also absolution. God proclaims to Adam and Eve the first absolution as He gives them the first promise of the Messiah, the Second Adam, who would save the First Adam. But before God drives Adam and Eve from the Garden, in a seemingly innocuous verse, we read that God clothed Adam and Eve with garments made of animal skin. Even in spite of their sin, God does not leave his repentant children in need. There in their nakedness and abject poverty, God provides for them and He does so by covering over their sin and their shame with His blessed gift of grace. Since sin entered the world, God’s children have not been marked by perfect lives, but sin and shame that have been covered over by God.
Every morning in which we begin in the name placed on us in our baptism is a day to remember that God has covered over our sin in the waters of Holy Baptism. For as Paul writes to the Galatians, all of us who are baptized have put on Christ. God’s precious gift of Baptism is the robe of righteousness and the garment of salvation. Like Adam and Eve, we hide in our sin and shame, but God has sought us out and covered over our sin with the Lamb who was slain on our behalf. We have washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For everyone who has ever felt the guilt and pain of their own sin, blessed are you that your transgression is forgiven and your sin is covered. For Christ Jesus is your beauty and your glorious dress having hidden away all of your shame.
In a time when so much is demanded of our workers, it is good for pastors, teachers and all those who serve in our churches and schools hear and know that Christ was crucified and risen again for you so that your transgressions would be forgiven and your sin covered over by Jesus’ righteousness. No matter what the trends are for the membership role or the home fund, may we be reminded of the joy and peace of sins forgiven on account of Christ.
Prayer – O Merciful Father, You have called me by the Gospel and enlightened me with Your gifts of Christ in Word and Sacrament, grant me peace and joy in knowing that my sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake. Strengthen and enable me to walk in newness of life by Your Holy Spirit. In Your most precious name. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan