Saturday, November 2, 2013

Put on the new...

Colossians 3:1  So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3  for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4  When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. 5  Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). 6  On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. 7  These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. 8  But now you must get rid of all such things--anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. 9  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices  10  and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. 11  In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all! 12  As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13  Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The image used in this passage is one of taking of old garments and putting on new: “strip off the old self and clothe yourselves with the new self” and then “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” and “clothe yourselves with love”. This resonates with the book of Revelation where old garments are washed clean[1], or with the appeal in Ephesians to leave the old self behind and to be clothed by the new self.[2]
Christian faith invites people to leave their old ways and to embrace a new way of life: a life of compassionate love that is bigger than race, culture and class.    

To Sing:
The windows of heaven are open
The blessings are falling tonight
There's joy, joy, joy in my heart
For Jesus made everything right
I gave Him my old tattered garment
He gave me a robe of pure white
I'm feasting on manna from heaven
And that's why I'm happy tonight.

Ordinary 31 / Pentecost +24
53 God Can Change Lives
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 323.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.

[1][1] Revelation 7:14 and 22:14.
[2]  Ephesians 4: 22-24.

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