getting dressed

I was talking to a bride and groom on Saturday. They wanted me to read a bit of Colossians 3. So I did.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
People argue. People are selfish. People cut in front of other people. And often it’s because we think we have to look out for ourselves. We have to wear armor. We have to talk first. And last. We have to be anxious about everything because no one else will be.

And Paul says to the people who were following Jesus in the little town of Colossae, “God picked you. You are loved more than you can imagine. Be at peace.”

And then he says, “Go ahead. Go to the closet. Pick out that suit of humility, that one that makes everyone else more beautiful. Today you can wear that. You don’t have to put yourself out front, tearing others down so God notices you. Because he does. Notice you, that is.”

He says, “Look, that patience outfit. It’s more longwearing than polyester. When you are dressed in that, frustrations will not stain you. Try it. Jesus will show you how it fits best.”

He says, “Put on that compassion jacket. I know. The pockets are kind of bulgy. Those pockets are full of tissues for her and little pieces of candy for crying kids and the perfect book of John Donne poetry for your mom and even a little piece of cheese.”

You get the picture. When Paul is talking about clothing ourselves in these things, he’s not creating a sense of guilt (“I’ve gotta be more humble.”). He saying, “you want to bring out the beauty that God sees in you? Put on the clothes he’s prepared for you.”

10 thoughts on “getting dressed

  1. Lois

    Ok, Jon, now I’ve begun the week weeping . . . but thanks again so very much. The power outage even waited for the festivities to conclude . . . Lois


  2. Hugh McDevitt

    This is one of my favorite scriptures. My wife and I had it read at our wedding, and about five years ago, I wrote an a cappella setting of it that a small choir sang at the friend who sang in our church choir.


  3. Hugh McDevitt

    Oops, “small choir sang at the wedding of a friend who sang in our church choir.” Brain flying faster than fingers.


  4. Hugh McDevitt

    Yes, I “clothed this with music.” The name of the piece was “Clothe Yourselves with Love.” I could send you a recording if you are interested. It was sung a couple of times at Stanford Memorial Church subsequent to its premiere at the wedding.


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