Rousing Her Radiance: Day 2
Radiant Jesus Covers the Naked
The Gospels refer to ‘harassed and helpless’ ones, which literally means people without skin, unprotected. Jesus vows to cover us—to extend His mantle over our shameful nakedness.
Never has our overexposed world needed Him more. While writing this, I discovered these random pieces on my newsfeed: a happy report on the benefits of divorce, a famous football player who vowed to drop any woman who refused him oral sex (much to the female interviewer’s glee), a minor celeb who manipulated her boyfriend into making a sex tape so she could break into the majors, and a naked dating show (so contestants can choose the genitalia they want).
Vulgarity is the new lingua franca. We shouldn’t smile or wink or roll our eyes. We should weep. ‘Our boundary lines are burned with fire, and we are in disgrace’ (Neh. 2:17). Unprotected. Incapable of loving a person.
Thank God for the Church. Nowhere else will the harassed find cover. The other day I had a dream about people misshapen by harsh elements, faint with sunstroke. They tried in vain to find cover under rocks and ledges and leafless trees. Christians led them gently into a sanctuary where their ulcerated skin could be cleansed and covered. Only Jesus. Only His Church.
Not long ago, a young married man with several small children got into big trouble with live sex games on the Internet. His wife found out. He knew he could lose everything to flesh peddlers. He ran like a crazy man through the neighborhood into the first church he could find, in this case, my Catholic parish. The pastor-on-call referred him immediately to our parish-sponsored group. A non-Catholic, he took refuge there. He needed safety. Cover. He needed space for his own skin, his soul, his family to heal.
He needed the Good Shepherd. And His Church. ‘When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them for they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd’ (Matt. 9:36).
‘Quicken our authority, living God, to be the Church who reaches, welcomes, and covers those burnt and broken by sexual sin. Give us Your compassionate eyes, Your heart, and Your authority to cover the naked. We pray for many to run for cover in Your House.’
‘Father, we thank You for Jesus who established the Church on a Rock against which hell will not prevail (Matt 16:18). We pray for every Christian leader to build on Her firm foundation of sexual clarity and integrity. Father, unmask the deceiver and divider of Christians and unite us in one Spirit. As weak members of Christ, we ask for truth to guide our pursuit of sexual wholeness, for grace to sustain it, and for spiritual power to transform us. May we reflect the chaste radiance of Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18) as we “shine like stars in the universe, holding out the word of life” (Phil. 2:15-16) to a lost and hurting world.’