Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another. If any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
This devotion practically writes itself, doesn’t it? This is one of those beloved passages that is familiar to us. In it, we are given clear instruction what our “walk” through this world should look like. “Clothe” ourselves or put on; compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Reads a little like Fruits of the Spirit, doesn’t it? To clothe ourselves means “to adorn”.
Literally preparing for worship was something my parents and I did every week when I was growing up. Saturday night was busy with picking out what I would wear to church Sunday morning, pressing my dress, taking a special bubble bath. Mom washing my very long hair and putting it those
pink sponge curlers that were easy to sleep on, all the way up to the brush rollers (when I was older) that were horrible to sleep on. Polishing our shoes, and finally, mom would pray with me every night. Church was the highlight of our week. Like the core values Pastor Greg talked about in his sermon. It’s what we did. My Grandpa Hoppe would even wash his car on Saturday afternoon and put it away to prepare for Sunday worship, so literally, all of our relatives shared that same desire to “prepare for worship”.
Preparing for worship is giving back to God. Putting on our best! Our best clothes, our best heart, our best “self”. But doing this only on Sunday doesn’t seem enough. As Christians, we are called to “put on” our “best self” every single day. Another pastor once told me he starts with the same prayer every day, “Dear God, let Christ be seen in me today.” Putting on our best is a way of “putting on Christ” as the person other people see. That person that shows compassion, kindness, patience, and humility not just to our friends, neighbors, and family but to ALL His people. And not just to those with a sizable income. We are equal in God’s eyes.
God loves us no matter what we look like on Sunday or any other day for that matter. But God looks on the heart and He sees our hearts. It’s time to put on Christ. Every day. Let us be able to give an accounting for our joy.
Dear Heavenly Father. I want to be authentic to every man, woman and child. No matter where I am or what I do, let Christ be seen in me today! Amen.
Written by Fran Baatz
Fran is happily married with two daughters, and now four grandchildren and one great-grand daughter! She was an army brat growing up (which means she moved a bit) and her parents (Francis and Orpha Jimenez) were charter members of Sheridan Lutheran Church. She was also the first girl baptized in the church in 1953, so she has been at Sheridan a long time.