Scripture: Romans 13:11-14
Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:14 (NRSVUE)
Consider how clothing serves many functions in more affluent cultures. What we wear enhances our looks, helps us to fit in, and makes us more comfortable within our skin and with others. Clothing can give us a way to define ourselves for others. For example, when we wear our school colors on game day, we make a loyalty statement. Or when I pin on my Episcopal lapel pin, I am making a statement about my responsibilities in the church. Likewise, our scripture reading today beckons us to define ourselves by putting on Christ.
Like putting on our physical clothing, putting on Christ is something we need to do on a daily basis. Just as we intentionally choose our daily dress, our putting on Christ also requires a daily decision. We will grow spiritually if we give as much thought putting on Christ as we do in making every effort to select just the proper garment to fit the activities of a certain day.
One of the august aspects of putting on Christ is that we do not have to decide about color combination, style, dressing down or up, matching the belt with the shoes, or the fit of the threads. The attire remains the same every day. The question for the Christian is this: “Will I choose to wear it or not?”
We do not purchase this covering in the marketplace; it comes as a sheer gift. Our challenge is to live as if we have opened our hearts to welcome this benefaction.
When we put on Christ, we can expect to be both disturbed and comforted. We will be disturbed because Christ kicks up the evil spirits in us, and we will be comforted because Christ mends our broken places.
Gracious God, grant me the constant and steadfast discipline to put on Christ each and every day. Amen.
By Joe Pennel, Upper Room Disciplines 2013, p. 393.