Garments

Garments are temporary.
No matter how they might fit, tight and clinging or loose and comfy; no matter how old or new or clean or soiled they may be, garments are just temporary. We put them on just to remove them a few hours later and replace them with something else from a closet or drawer. Temporary though they may be, our clothes last longer than we have use for them. With infrequent use, they get pushed back in the closet or deeper in the drawer until we need the space more than we need the clothes and they get taken out to be given away or to be stored so we can give them a way later.

If garments are temporary, so are the bodies we clothe with garments. We are only here for a short while so we must make the days count as the years pile up to a significant heap.

Beneath the ever-changing garments the body is changing, too:

  • Shifting weight,
  • the eventual surrender to gravity,
  • pains in places that never hurt before, and
  • mental gaps that stop us in our tracks until we remember why we came in this room.

Changes, like garments that clothe the body, also dress our souls.

  • Do we remember the wonderful wardrobe change when guilty garments were cast aside and shining white robes of righteousness replaced them? It is called “getting saved!
  • There was that bad attitude that kept hanging around in your closet until you put in on and spoiled everyone’s day. Convicted in your heart, you repented of it and threw it out of closet and out of your life. Your friends were so glad they never saw you in that again! It’s called holiness.
  • The dark clouds of depression kept you in a raincoat all the time. You kept reading and memorizing the good things from God until the clouds parted and the sun came out again and you ventured forth into a beautiful day with just a sweater. It’s called healing.
  • It seems the only songs you knew where in the key of the blues. One day it was enough of sadness and your traded your sorrows for the Joy of the Lord. It’s called worship.
  • If there was a potential danger you saw it and prepared for it. Then you recounted all the grace in your life, the bad things that didn’t happen and you decided life was worth the risk. It’s called faith.

So in preparation for the day’s activities, put on the right garments—faith, worship, healing, holiness, salvation—and see how good it all looks on you.

Scriptures:
Psalm 102:24-28 NKJV
I said, “O my God, Do not take me away in the midst of my days; Your years are throughout all generations. Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end. The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You.”
Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
John 19:23-24 NKJV
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things.
Revelation 7: 9-12
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank You for laying aside the garments of royalty, rightfully worn by You on the Throne. You emptied Yourself of heavenly majesty so the royal vestments were no longer appropriate. You came into the world in the scandal of human nakedness, a child born in a stable and placed in a manger. Mary dressed you as an infant and as a child. You wore the work clothes of the carpenter’s shop. In Your brief ministry You wore a seamless robe, one stained by the tears an sweat of Gethsemane. Soldiers stripped it from You and clothed You in mockery while pounding You with their fists and carving Your back with the Roman whip. You wore the cross like a cloak through the city streets and all the way up the hill called the Place of the Skull. Dying there You wore the robes of our unrighteous, so heinous a sight that, the Father turned His face away. They wrapped You in grave clothes and on Resurrection day You left them folded neatly in the empty tomb. Now You are robed again clothed in regal splendor. The rags I used to wear are gone. You have given me the garments of praise—Today I will wear them! Hallelujah!

Song:
Garment of Praise
Traditional

Put on the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
Lift up your voice to God.
Praise with the spirit and with understanding.
O, magnify the Lord!

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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