Finding Faith: Dress up in God

So they came this week – all those adorable ghosts, superheroes and princesses; they came asking for a treat – and at my house we were happy to comply. It’s a fun tradition – dressing up, I was at a party with (among others) Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, two members of the rock band Kiss, the Queen of England and President Obama. Unless we are actors we probably only have that one chance each year for putting on unusual clothes.

In the Bible we are encouraged to “Put on Christ.” Paul, one of the main authors of the Christian scriptures, took this idea from the custom when newly baptized people were given a new robe to wear. New clothes signified a new identity as a follower of Jesus.

A new outward appearance was linked to a new inward life and new behaviors. In Colossians we read: “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12 NRSV)

What if we dressed up each day in the costume of the holy and beloved ones of God? Can we put on socks so full of compassion that we cannot help but walk with those who suffer in poverty, hunger and homelessness? Would a shirt stitched with kindness empower our arms to reach out to those who are abused or bullied? What if we wore pants woven of so much humility and meekness that we find ourselves on our knees in prayer? Can we clothe ourselves in a jacket of patience, sitting quietly with a loved one or a stranger who needs to tell their story without interruption or advice giving?

So let’s dress up in the clothes God’s grace has provided: compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. While not as exciting as Spiderman or Cinderella, we will be a treasure to others.

(With thanks to the “Peek, Ponder and Pray” section of UCC.org)

Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Patty Dodds, pastor of St. Luke’s United Church of Christ in Lock Haven.