From the Editor

Covered? or Naked?

Michael L. Sherer

Michael L. Sherer

Just because we don’t get caught doesn’t mean God doesn’t know about it.

The older I get, the more amazed (and less surprised) I become at what I read in print. The following will, I hope, make readers of this publication shake their heads. It will also serve as a good reminder that Lutheran theology is right after all: sin is pervasive and needs to be confronted head-on.

People who travel a lot, in connection with their employment, now have the opportunity to cheat on their spouses and cover their tracks. All they have to do is call an “alibi agency.” Membership runs around $100, plus $30-50 per lie told on the client’s behalf. The alibi agency based in Lytham, St. Annes, England, will even create a fictitious convention for you to attend, mail the appropriate literature (so you can leave it lying around at home), receive any phone calls you receive while “at the convention,” patch them through to a fictitious “hotel front desk,” and, if you’re really serious about deception, return a “forgotten” tie or earring by courier afterwards, just to prove you were “really there.”

One assumes the appeal here is to have your cake and eat it too — one can practice infidelity without getting caught. And if “you’re covered,” then you’re safe. Right?

Wrong.

A Sunday school teacher once had a discussion with her students about what they decide to do when nobody is looking. One of her students, an alert young man, replied, “But, of course, God is always looking.”

That’s another way of saying that, no matter how well we think we’re covered, we’re really always standing naked before our Creator. On the way to Good Friday, Lutherans who remember to show up at worship are reminded of this in powerful ways, primarily through the Scripture which is shared during the Lenten season.

And then, in one of those marvelous Lutheran paradoxes, we discover that, naked as we are, we can still cover ourselves — not with lies and alibis, but with the forgiving love of the Crucified Christ.

Naked? No, covered!