“3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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
Now that we are on the other side of Resurrection Sunday, there are a number of realties that come crashing in upon our everyday lives. Really important things!
Specifically, it’s time to completely overhaul my wardrobe. Even though the temperature is still in the 40s and 50s I have put away my flannel shirts, (almost) every sweater, and any of my dress shirts that had brown or rust colors in them. Even though there are situations, which may incline me to desire wearing my heavy down jacket, or my long wool jacket, I understand that putting those on would be a fashion mistake. Not only that, it runs counter-productive to the announcement, “Spring is here!”
While there are certain things that I should put away because of the reality of this important calendar marker, there just as many things that are now appropriate for me to put on.
It’s time to put on white pants!
Long have I known that wearing white pants before Easter is a huge faux pas. But, now that “He has risen, indeed,” mine are out of the storage box and ready to make Chicago fashion history.
It’s also time to put on pastel shirts and ties!
While I wouldn’t dream of wearing a pink shirt with a mint green tie in January, there are many months ahead where putting on pastel shirts and ties is an appropriate expression of the joy of a new season.
And finally, it’s time to put on new socks!
Since nothing declares our present reality better than socks, in a moment of celebratory glee, I stopped by my local Marshalls store yesterday and picked up nine pairs of new socks in a wide variety of bright spring colors. “How beautiful upon the streets are the feet of one who brings good news.”
The Apostle Paul makes a different point about what we should put on in his letter to the Ephesian church,
“assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:21-24).”
It’s fun and easy to put off our winter clothes and to put on new clothes after Easter.
Yet, so often, we continue to wear what we shouldn’t, and not wear what we should.
Christ is better than a new spring outfit! Spring outfits eventually have to be put away again. All of them will eventually go out of style.
Thankfully, as Christians, through his grace, we are called to both put off and put on something more important, far more transformative, and far more declarative. Because of the victory declared in the resurrection, Christ calls us to put off our old self and put on the new self – every day! In doing so, we not only experience the transforming presence of Christ in our own lives, but, as we walk about town having put on Christ, we extend the transforming presence of Christ to those around us.
Consider that the next time you are standing in front of your closet and asking, “What should I wear today?”
- Pastor Michael