Today’s readings (click below to open in new window/tab):
Psalms 111; 150, 1 Kings 3:5-14, Colossians 3:12-17, John 6:41-47
Whether you leave your house dressed in a bathrobe, a suit and tie, or a wedding dress, it’s the same you underneath. Despite employer dress codes, you are no less competent on casual Friday than you are when dressed for a board meeting at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday. However there are times when what you wear is crucial. A nurse treating infectious patients must wear protective clothing. Hikers need footwear to provide both comfort and stability. Dancers are hindered if their clothes do not allow freedom of movement.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul says they should clothe themselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” and “love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Some clothes communicate how we intend to interact with the world. Opposing teams and referees all wear different uniforms for a reason. Someone can say “I’m a professional football player” but until they’re suited up and on the field, they’re not playing professional ball. We can quote scripture and doctrine all day long, but if we haven’t put on a Christian attitude, why would anyone believe us? Sure, meekness might itch a little and sometimes we can’t wait to slip out of that patience at the end of the day, but they are part of the dress code for the best job in the world.
The good news is, once you’ve broken them in, they are pretty comfortable. Kindness feels less like a tie choking off your breathing and more like a scarf keeping you warm. Humility changes from a girdle squeezing in your less virtuous bulges to a support that helps you keep your back straight and head high. None of us are able to display Paul’s list of virtues all the time, but the more conscious we are about putting them on, the more they become part of us, and the more prepared we feel.
These garments will protect you. They will provide comfort and stability. They will give you confidence to move freely in a world that doesn’t always understand what you’re doing. Dressing for success doesn’t have to cost a dime.
Comfort: Love of God and neighbor is the most beautiful thing you can wear.
Challenge: As you are getting dressed for the day, be intentional about putting on your garments of faith as well.
Prayer: Loving God, I will clothe myself in faith to please you and serve your world. Amen.
Discussion: What’s your favorite item of clothing and why?
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