“You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
Have you ever played dress-up? When we were little, we played dress-up. I remember I had high heels and a fake fur and sunglasses, and I would put those on and walk around like a movie star. My kids had a dress-up box, too, where they kept helmets and uniforms and superhero costumes baseball caps. What fun they had pretending to be different people and trying on different uniforms!
Recently, I traveled to the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus. On our journey, we went to a narrow place on the River Jordan to hear the story of Jesus’ baptism and to remember our own baptism. “Remember that you are baptized and be thankful.”
Remembering that we have been clothed in Christ is not something we do only in a service at church or in this case, at the river. Paul reminds us that if we have been baptized in Christ, we have been clothed in him. In other words, we are to walk and talk like Jesus, and do the things Jesus would do every day. Being clothed in Christ is like playing dress-up. Acting like Christ doesn’t make us God, but it will remind others that God loves them.
A few years ago, someone started the fad of wearing bracelets with WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) on them. You only have to read the Gospel accounts of his life to see that Jesus loved the unlovable, healed the unhealable, gave hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless. Jesus dressed up like us so that we could see God’s love for us and pass on that love to others. Sometimes when we walk by someone in need and turn a blind eye to them, it’s like taking off our Jesus clothes because we are not acting as Jesus would act. Even if we have nothing to give, everyone needs to know that there is love and hope in the world, and most of all that God knows them and loves them. When we are truly clothed in Christ, others will know that God loves them, even in the most desperate and unlovable situations.
So friends, “Remember that you are baptized and be thankful.” And for Jesus’ sake, keep your clothes on!
Rev. Jan McCoy is the Associate Pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.covingtonfirst.org.