First of all, answers to the photos posted from the quiz!

1) Iron Man
2) Michael Jackson
3) Peter Pan
4) Simon Cowell
5) Wallace & Gromit

Christmas and the January sales often bring us the opportunity to buy and receive new clothes. But the clothes God has to offer us are far more important than any bargain we may get in the sales!

In a divine exchange that is truly amazing, our ‘filthy rags’ (Isaiah 64:6) – which is what our own righteousness and goodness look like to God – are exchanged for ‘robes of righteousness and garments of salvation’ (Isaiah 61:10).

We looked at some examples of filthy clothing and talked about how much value our world places on external appearances:

Just as no amount of scrubbing or washing powder will get rid of the stains on those clothes, nothing we do can remove our sins from us, but Jesus has made the way for our sins, though red as crimson, to become as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18) through His death on the cross.

Once we have exchanged sackcloth for garments of praise and joy (see Ps 30:11), we have a whole new set of clothes to put on:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Col 3:12-14).

The clothes God wants us to wear are characteristics of Christ (elsewhere referred to as ‘fruit of the Spirit’) which are far more important than any fashion parade or jewellery we may wear. God wants us to wear:

1) compassion
2) kindness
3) humility
4) gentleness
5) patience
6) forgiveness
7) love.

The Message version of Colossians 3:14 says “dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you. Wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”

Our ‘all-purpose garment’ (like the little black dresses below?!) can look very different. We all speak different ‘love languages’ and have to learn to express love in a variety of ways.

Love can be shown in different ways (spending time with people, serving them, speaking encouragingly and kindly to them and so affirming them, through hugs and giving gifts), but most of all, when we wear the clothes Christ gives us, we become ‘clothed with Christ’ (Gal 3:27) and can reflect His character to all around us.