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Devotional: April 4, 2020

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.

Colossians 3: 12

With everyone staying at home, people have talked about the resulting changes in their wardrobe. Some have laughingly admitted they are wearing their pajamas a little longer into the morning (or even all day!). Others, who might have to wear professional clothes regularly, are instead opting for a more casual look.

But what else are we wearing? I am talking about God’s wardrobe: the Christ-like attributes we are called upon to wear. Even in this time when we don’t have to put on the same outer clothes as before, we still need to put on Christ.

Put on compassion and kindness. It has been said that our true character and nature are revealed in a crisis. It has been heartwarming to see how communities across the country, and locally, have come together during this time. In our area, resources have been pooled to offer one food bank, located it at the Town Toyota Center. Churches are making sure that those who cannot leave are getting their food, and medication. Still others are finding ways to assist with even the littlest things. I received a call from East Wenatchee’s new Mayor Jerrilea Crawford, asking how the city could support our church during this time! isn’t that wonderful!

Put on humility. We’ve all been humbled by this pandemic. Many people are “by-selfers”, and taking assistance can be difficult. Yes, even humbling. Accepting help may seems like we’re saying, “we can’t do something for ourselves”. Taking that help is humbling. But this crisis has also humbled all of humanity: it reminds us we are not in control.

Put on quiet strength. In this time of testing, we find out how strong we are. I’m reminded of when J. K. Rawlings (Author of the Harry Potter series), talked about a very difficult time in her own life. Her husband left her and her young child, forcing her to become a single mother, and she was struggling to find work. One of the things she said she learned during this time was that she “was stronger than I thought I was.” Perhaps we will learn a similar truth about ourselves through this ordeal. May we discover our quiet strength in the Lord. Not being able to be strong does not mean that we are weak: it just means that we need to find strength elsewhere: from God.

Finally, put on discipline. In this time when life seems out of control, maintaining routines, and schedules can help tremendously. Such healthy habits help us feel less powerless. My neighbor Dave, who works for the PUD, is on call these days. He said that he is still up at his usual time in the morning, then gets dressed and packs his lunch. He does this so that if a call came in to go work that day, he would be ready. He shared with me that even if he doesn’t get called in, he needs that routine and discipline in his life, especially when so many other things are not routine. Dave knows that he needs the comfortable, and well-rehearsed routine, which comes with discipline.

I can still remember back when I was in Seminary, and the Placement Office was giving us advice on doing telephone interviews with our potential employers: churches looking for pastors. They mentioned that we should dress up as we would if we were having an in-person interview. (That was way before the days of FaceTime and Zoom!) I find that what they suggested was true for me: when I dressed up for a telephone call, I felt more mentally prepared to answer those tough interview questions! Amazing!

As we prepare for the day, no matter what we are wearing on our bodies, we need to also be preparing our spirits with the garment that would be pleasing to God. My advice? Dress in the wardrobe God picked out! It will never be out of fashion. In fact, you may be an example to others. Imagine that! You: a fashion trendsetter!

Prayer for the Day

God of all blessings,

In a time when some are wondering how to serve you, let us put on compassion and kindness. Help us to find a quiet strength, by turning to you, especially when we feel overwhelmed by life. May we clothe ourselves in You so much that others notice, and give glory to You! That is our heart’s desire. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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