Friday, July 27Scripture Reading—Colossians 3:12-17
The clothes we wear tell other people something about how we see ourselves. Likewise, the clothes we wear often shape the way we perceive and feel about ourselves. I recall being very aware of the difference I felt when I worked in a job where I wore a uniform that was covered in mud and dirt by day’s end from those days I wore nicer cleaner clothing. And I recall being very tuned into how other people perceived me in those different garbs. This text uses the image of clothing to describe the Christian life. Prior to these verses, the writer has told the Colossians what elements they need to strip off. He mentions things like fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed along with anger, wrath, malice slander, and abusive language along with lying. Quite an ugly suit of clothes! The image the writer has in mind is Christian baptism, through which we are washed clean and given a new suit of clothes—a whole new identity. This new suit of clothing—this new self—consists of compassion, kindness, humility….you get the idea. At the heart of it all is love which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Other traits follow—the peace of Christ that fills us and overflows into our relationships with others along with a joyful gratitude that is expressed in song! The two suits of clothing are starkly different. They signify the difference between the old person and the new. Is it time for some new clothes—clothing that signifies the death of a person at odds with self, others, and God and the birth of a new person who knows what it means to be loved, and is ready to love the unlovely, and to face each day with joyful gratitude?
Thought for the day: A Christian is a person who has experienced the transforming grace of God in such a way that selfishness is overcome with love, guilt with forgiveness, and cynicism with great joy!
Prayer: O God, we all need to become new people. Help us to allow you to remove all the things in our lives that rob us of life, and to clothe us with those traits that help us live in harmony with you, at peace with ourselves, and with a joy we have never known before. Amen.