Clothe yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
- Colossians 3:10b-14
“Time to get dressed!”...“But school is on the computer!”
“You still have to get dressed”...“But they can’t see if I am wearing pants...”
“Put your clothes on.”
*This play is performed regularly at the Trammell household if anyone is missing the theater during the pandemic.
My wife’s rule (which I totally support both because it is a wise rule and because I have learned a bit about husbanding in 17 years of marriage) is that everyone gets dressed for the day as if normal had returned. The reasoning behind the rule is that the act of getting dressed helps frame our mindset for the day or task at hand. It also signals to other people what we are up to. People tend not to mow the lawn in wedding dresses or to lead a business meeting in a bathing suit (though perhaps lifeguards might).
This is the concept behind Paul’s beautiful illustration about our new life in Christ. It calls back to the making of garments by God to protect Adam and Eve outside the Garden of Eden. A new identity is offered to us in Christ and it is manifested in external expressions that read like a prescription written to heal our hurting world. Dressed in compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience should send clear signals to our neighbors and neighborhoods what we are up to. Paul knows that even dressed like this, the road can be hard and so adds the commendation to bear with each other and forgive because we are a forgiven people.
Time to get dressed because there is work to do. ‘But so much is still on the computer’…we still can put on Christ and share his love. May people who are hungry for hope and peace notice how we are ‘dressed’ and know that we have been sent by God to share good news.
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