"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

My Blog’s Title

Posted in Theological by matt on Monday, March 3, 2008

I just realized that I haven’t even given an explanation for the quote at the top of this site. Well, being the diligent student worker that I am, I was browsing the inter-web for more info on Søren Kierkegaard (my current man-crush) and I tripped across this little quote. Some other girl has a Blogspot site with this same quote, but I decided I would just bite the bullet and be a copy-cat. I went on to read a few other interesting quotes, but this one stuck with me over the next few weeks and I even ended up scrapping the former small group plans and using it at the last minute.

For me, this quotes’ initial richness of meaning was found in the sheer fact that Kierkegaard said it, but I quickly became more interested in the truth behind it than the person saying it. Here S.K. is using an allusion to the fig leaves in Genesis 3 to thank Christ for covering our shame. The text is as follows:

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 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.'” Genesis 3.6-10

Here is the idea that, after rebellion, the inclination is to cover ourselves and hide our shame. I find it particularly ironic that the first thing to condemn Adam and Eve was not God, but their own conscience. Their recognition of guilt the loss of innocence led them to dress like the lost boys and hide from God. God didn’t immediately materialize and backhand them both across the face, He came seeking fellowship with them. But they were condemned by their own shame.

So human history progresses with this simple pattern: God provides boundaries, we break them, and someone (or some animal) must absorb the pain and punishment – someones gotta pay. God finally steps in and finishes it by absorbing everything and offering a covering that not only removes shame and guilt, but provides us with the best robe He’s got and welcomes us into a blissful inheritance.

May we praise Him who has covered us completely! He is worthy of our every endeavor as we walk fully clothed and live to show others how they, too, can be clothed.

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