Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Clothes

Consider these words from Colossians, chapter 3 from The Message:

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.  Pursue the things over which Christ presides.  Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed in the things right in front of you.  Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ . . . See things from His perspective.
            Your old life is dead . . . your real life . . . is with Christ in God.  He is your life . . . [so] be content with obscurity, like Christ.
And that means killing off everything connected with [the old life] . . . a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. 
You’re done with that old life.  It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes . . . Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe.  Every item in your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with His label on it.  All the old fashions are now obsolete . . . From now on everyone is defined in Christ.
            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.  Be even tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. . .
            And regardless of what else you put on, wear love.  It’s your basic, all-purpose garment.  Never be without it. .  . let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other . . . Let the Word of Christ – The Message – have the run of the house.  Give it plenty of room in your lives . . . And sing, sing your hearts out to God!  Let every detail in your life – words, actions, whatever – be done in the name of Jesus, thanking God . . . every step of the way.        from Colossians 3 (The Message)

Adonai ~
You are Lord; You are Father and Son and Holy Spirit, Creator and Redeemer and Counselor.  You are above us and below us, to our left and to our right, before us and behind us. You surround us with abundant blessings, and we are humbled by such generous gifts.  You are in everything and everything comes from You.
 You see our hearts and our motivations, see all that we conceal from the world.  You know our selfish ambitions, our pretentious vanities, our deceitful words.  You hold our deepest fears, our greatest disappointments, our darkest thoughts.  Behind our masks, we struggle with loneliness.  Beside our idols, we long for more. Beneath our veiled hearts, we cry out loud.  And You?  In exchange for what we bring, You offer real forgiveness, real love, real life.  You are Grace and everything happens through You.
You choose us for real life, a life defined in Christ.  You reform our minds, renew our hearts, refresh our spirits.  Taking holy threads of faith and hope and love, You weave a robe of righteousness adorned with purity and holiness.  You wrap us in this exquisite tapestry, every detail shouts of Your majesty.  You are Perfect Love and everything ends up in You.    
We come before this altar with servant hearts.  Solitude surrounds us. Prayers rise to You, our Adonai ~ prayers of hope and possibility, prayers of thanksgiving and songs of praise.  You are in every detail!  Defined in Christ, our souls are made new, for one purpose, for Your Glory!  You are the Central Force that draws our hearts together, for one purpose, for Your Glory!   Let everything ~ everything ~ speak of Your Glory!  In the name of Jesus, the Beloved, Amen.    ~dho