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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Colossians 2:12–17         

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. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (NRSV)

You know what it’s like. You stand in front of the closet and can’t figure out what to wear. Some pieces of clothing don’t fit any longer. You hate others. Some choices wouldn’t be appropriate.

Blue shirt or white shirt? Tie or not? Black or brown? Business or casual?

Paul gives his new little group of believers in Colossae some instructions about what to wear. What if each morning, as you stared into your closet, you put on some imaginary garments first. “Clothe yourselves with compassion and kindness.” Maybe the blouse is compassion and the skirt is kindness. Humility and meekness. The belt you wear could be humility and perhaps your socks could be meekness. What to wear for patience? Your watch? Or the necklace that’s hard to clasp? Or that suitcoat that’s getting harder and harder to button?

What would the world be like if everyone thought about wearing imaginary garments such as these?

Paul goes on to instruct, “Forgive one another . . . and above all, clothe yourselves with love.” Forgiveness and love. Maybe they could be your underwear, foundational for the whole outfit, closest to your skin, chafing or rubbing sometimes as a reminder.

What we shouldn’t forget is how Paul opens up this passage: “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved.” Before we start pulling those clothes out of the closet, what if we remembered each morning that we truly are God’s chosen ones, not better than everyone else but simply privileged because we know God’s love, or at least we’ve been told about God’s love. That’s why we are chosen. Privileged to know that God loves us.

So maybe if we remember, before we do anything else each day, that we are holy and beloved, it will be easy to figure out what to wear.

Dear Lord Jesus, help me to dress with the qualities of compassion and kindness, humility and meekness, patience, forgiveness, and love. Help me to wear them all well. Thank you for viewing us as holy and beloved, no matter how many times we choose the wrong clothes to wear. Thank you. Amen.

Written by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care

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