Shame keeps us from embracing the love God offers us. Much like Roberta Flack, we fear exposure, convinced that someone who knows us as fully as God does can only despise us. But Jesus promises that anyone who comes into the light of his presence finds not condemnation and judgment but freedom and love. This confidence emboldens us to practice the art of confession, and our courage enables those in our community find the freedom that comes from walking in the light too.
We’re taught to be suspicious of our desires, to rule over them and subject them to our minds. But our desires are the core of who we are, since we’re created in the image of a God who is love. The practices of fasting and feasting help us orient our desires toward the self-giving love of God.
We're taught that complete freedom is the path to happiness. But as Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" reveals, that path leaves us isolated and alone. Psalm 119 celebrates the freedom we find in pursuing commitment, not running from it.