Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dress Me

"...stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
Luke 24:49b

Dressing an infant is no easy task. Their heads flop, their arms droop, their legs kick every which way except the direction they need to go. Seriously, dressing an infant must be like wrangling a steer at a rodeo. It takes time and skill to wrestle them into those street clothes...and my, all those snaps. It's a wonder more babies aren't just allowed to hang in their diapers in public more often.

Then, little bits of time pass and they become a bit more helpful. They hold up their hands anticipating their shirts over their heads. They lift their little legs one at a time into the legs of their Osh-Kosh-By-Gosh's and they demand they be shod so they can play outside. Before long, they're independent of our help, choosing their own outfits (polka dots and plaids...together...on the same body) and clothing themselves without any help from us!

The early church needed to be clothed, too. One of the last instructions Jesus gave his followers before his ascension into heaven was, "stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). Why? Because they had a mission to do and needed to be dressed appropriately. They were to continue sharing the good news of God's kingdom in Jerusalem and then throughout the world just as Jesus had started. They couldn't do it in their own power, clothed in only their humanity. No, they needed to be clothed from the inside out with the power from on high ... God's Holy Spirit.

Being obedient to Jesus' instructions, his followers stayed in Jerusalem, praying and worshiping God in the temple. As they postured themselves in worship, maybe some raised their hands, waiting to be clothed by their heavenly Father. Finally, on the day Pentecost God showed up. He overwhelmed them with power, placing a flame of fire above their heads and a foreign language upon their tongues. They shared the Good News of Jesus to all the foreigners in Jerusalem, celebrating Pentecost. They went out into the streets, into new lands with boldness because they were clothed with God's power.

As we wait for God's call on our lives or wait for Him to tell us what next step to take on our journey of sharing God's kingdom let us take the posture of worship. Let us raise our hands and pray, "Father, dress me!"

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