I have never been all that particular about my clothes. I want to look presentable, but I usually don’t go out and purchase the highest quality clothing. My wife tells me that I have no taste. I would rather have lots of inexpensive clothing that wears out fast than a few good items that will last me awhile.
I invest about the same amount of money either way, but get totally different results. Even though cleaning clothes frequently is not a problem, it seems that I don’t want to wear the same thing too many times, so I sacrifice quality for diversity.
In Luke 24:36-48, Jesus talks about God’s old quality suit being worn anew in saying:
“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.’”
On life’s journey I have looked too often for diversity instead of quality. As a youth and young adult I was easily bored so there had to be something new all of the time. Up to middle age it was keeping up with the Jones’. Certain ways of living and playing were expected in the culture that I was in. Moving into middle age things began to happen that made me question my scattered approach.
Being popular began to mean less while loving and being loved meant more. With my first significant illness and the loss of a job and a parent, things started looking different.
I knew the story of Christ’s resurrection and the forgiveness of sins, but it was just that to me: a story. I had too many other things on my mind. Doing the busy work for my church and community kept my life lively, but not very deep. It was a matter of going through the motions. Of doing what was expected and superficially trying to be everything to everybody.
I was sort of like the character in the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” The worldly had convinced me that I had on nice clothes, but I was naked. The meaning of Christ crucified had not yet hit me.
Then after much praying and a life-threatening event, I repented and accepted God’s forgiveness. I became a personal witness to God’s love and promises to us. I realized that I only needed one suit of clothes. I was clothed with the “power from on high.”
I found this to be better than anything that I had worn before. What a great feeling to get up each morning knowing exactly what you are going to wear and praising God for His ancient, clean and bright suit of clothes.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extention: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.