Every morning we choose to get dressed. What we wear may well be determined by multiple factors: what day it is, where we are going, the chores we have to address. If we’re at work or school (if only!), we may have to wear a uniform; if we’re decorating, we may want to put on older clothes which are paint-spattered already. If we’re going out for a meal or to an official function, we may want to put on our best clothes; if we’re spending the day with children, we may want more relaxed garb.
Then there are the fashion factors we may consider about what we are going to wear: matching colours and styles, accessories, shoes and so on. It’s surprising how young children can be when they start to notice these things and decide what they want. My granddaughter already likes to wear a ‘pretty little dress’ rather than more practical tops and leggings!
Over this Lent period, I’ve tried to consider things we should consider eschewing and embracing, not simply ‘for Lent’, but for life. It’s relatively easy to change our behaviour for 40 days; it’s much harder to change over the longer-term period. All long-term change requires our cooperation with the Holy Spirit so that we allow His power to reign in our lives.
Paul makes it clear what we should wear every day in terms of our attitudes and lifestyles: ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’ (Col 3:12) He tells the Ephesians, ‘to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.’ (Eph 4:23-24) Essentially, to eschew (put off the old self) and to embrace (put on the new self) need to be part of our daily living as Christians. Easter makes this possible.