Tuesday, November 6, 2012
What are you wearing?
23 Before the coming of this faith,[i] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge of us until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Paul was writing to a group of people who were getting hung up on the law. Yes, they had received Christ by faith but now they were being drawn back to the rules and customs of the law. They were struggling with the Gentiles around them and wondering where they fit into the entire kingdom of God. Those people who were not living by the Law! Paul was reminding them about the transformation which occurs when we put on Christ. When we are wearing Christ, whether we are Jew or Gentile, everything changes. It is not the exterior living by a set of rules which changes an individual, but the "putting on" of Christ which leads to radical transformation and adoption into God's family. We are now his children and as his children all barriers are broken down. The distinctions which earthly kingdoms may create and which may create division include race, class, and gender. When we are wearing Christ -- when we are his, these barriers are completely broken down and destroyed. God doesn't see these divisions when we are wearing him, instead, he sees children, all of whom have been adopted into his kingdom, children that are now heirs of his promise.
Today I've asked the question, "What are you wearing?" Maybe the question would be more appropriately asked, "What are you seeing?" Within the kingdom of God there are many who have put on Christ and are living within the new kingdom. The problem is that at times there are those within the kingdom who refuse to see that people are wearing Christ and still see them for their race, class and/or gender. We may not do it intentionally but even within the church we have created barriers and divisions over these very issues. We have "ethnic" churches. What does that mean? We plant new churches with a "targeted demographic." What does that mean? We surround ourselves with those who look like us and make us feel comfortable -- and what does that mean? Too often we do not realize that we are like the Galatians who had come to the Lord by faith, but were then allowing the things of the world to creep in upon them. The old Law just kept coming back and interfering with what God intended. We must recognize that our old way also creeps up from time to time and we must ask God to keep us in check and to be intentional about being kingdom people. Just as the Apostle Paul had to remind the Galatians that there was no longer "Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus," so we also need to be reminded of the kingdom. We must remember what we are wearing -- but what others are wearing as well. We cannot allow the old law to control us, but we must purposefully put on Christ every single day and then intentionally live and walk as people of that kingdom, sharing life with our sisters and brothers who are also "one in Christ Jesus."
Lord, may I wear you well today -- and every day! Amen.