Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Passion Fashion

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10
 
Frankly, I have seen too much talk in the Bible about clothing and adorning and garments to believe that the clothier of the lilies has no interest in fashion.
 
I am not a fashionista. I don't have an eye for it, nor the income for it; and to look at the wardrobe choices made by the three children I am no longer "allowed" to dress, I fear that perhaps my lack of fashion sense is a trait they have inherited. I will choose to find it comical because quite often we look like a troupe of clowns minus the rosy bulbous noses.
 
To be honest, I've never given it a whole lot of thought. Then Sunday's sermon included Galatians 3:27:
 
"For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. "
 
I looked at my two year old- ridiculous in her dress and pants, mismatched like a room whose decorator could not decide just which wallpaper to put up so they put up both. Her bright pink cat socks glared from under silver shoes on the wrong feet. I guess it's technically wrong shoes on the right feet. Her outfit had forced me to breathe deep, smile politely, patiently plead for a costume change, and then relent knowing everyone at church would surely know she dressed herself.
 
But was the important thing what she was dressed in, or whom she was dressed in?
 
What if every morning I consciously put on Christ first, before my slippers and contacts? I would never consciously take Him off, but what if each day I raised my arms into the air and let Christ slip onto my body before I headed in to make breakfast?
 
I grew up hearing it this way: Remember your baptism. Martin Luther urged Christians to wake up every day making the sign of the cross and saying "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit", the very words recited in baptism. It's not just a practice for the pious and devout.
 
It is a reminder:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4
 
I have died to this world. I walk in newness of life. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Gal. 2:20)
 
I don't want to be one of those Christians who misses it. I don't want to believe that being clothed with Christ will  simply "one day" make a difference as we enter the eternal wedding banquet. I want to walk in newness of life today. Every single day. His cross is of daily relevance and His life of daily renewal. What greater gift is ours?
 
"The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, 'Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You... Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked- the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own shall become yours.'" -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity; Book IV, Chapter 8