Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Luke 24:44-53 (NRSV)
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
One of my greatest memories is of receiving hand-me-down clothes. To the childhood me, a plastic trash bag filled with slightly used clothes was a treasure trove. I especially liked getting name-brand clothes from the more popular kids! I remember vividly how my first pair of Nike shoes made me run so much faster. That was what being clothed in power meant to the childhood me.
After reading this scripture, I often wonder if the disciples were ridiculed by the religious leaders because of their clothes. I remember studying how the garments of the Pharisees were elaborate and easy to identify. A Pharisee’s cloak and fringe reflected years of religious training and the importance of the office they held. It also allowed them to cover up the fact that they were the same as everyone else underneath. They were literally clothed in power. What did the disciples wear? Well, what do you suppose fishermen preferred?
It’s ironic that another one of my greatest memories has to do with clothes. At my ordination, I received my first clergy robe and stole. It is truly incredible how the culmination of years of hard work attached itself to those pieces of fabric. To some ministers, clergy robes represent our call as pastors. Yet, beyond the theological aesthetics, it’s tempting to smile a little wider and stand a little taller when I put wear them.
God’s call and ordination extend far beyond those who have the best clothes or most ornate stoles. In fact, the “clothing” of the Holy Spirit covers those who wait on the work of the Lord regardless of qualification. Talk about a power suit. Are you ready to get dressed?
God, naked we come from our mother’s womb and naked we shall leave this world. We are thankful for the power and protection from the clothing of your Holy Spirit. Remind us today that our power is in you alone. Carry us into your work with care. Amen.
Go with God.