‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’ – Colossians 3.12From Toni Clark:
Have you missed going to the shops over the last few months? Seeing the news a few days ago, a lot of people have – the queues of people waiting to go into the shops on Oxford Street were incredible. It is nice to buy new clothes and I must confess to a couple of online bargains bought during lockdown, but I have no desire to hit the shops to go clothes shopping.
What I love about this verse is that it reminds us that there are some clothes which we can all put on, and they will fit – regardless of how many chocolate biscuits we might have eaten since the start of lockdown!
Think back to March – people seemed to go a bit mad stockpiling food, not forgetting the rush for toilet rolls. There were news stories of people clearing shelves without a care or thought for other people, particularly the old and vulnerable. It was a really sad sight to see.
Things seem to have sorted themselves out. I pick my time to go shopping and so far haven’t had to join too long a queue. The supermarkets seem to be coping and the shelves are well stocked, people are polite and friendly, we seem to have sussed the social distancing malarkey – although it can be fun when you unexpectedly almost bump into someone at the end of an aisle! People do shopping for their vulnerable neighbours and volunteer to deliver essentials to those who can’t get out. But I wonder as we ease out of lockdown, will that continue? I hope so!
This verse from Colossians is so encouraging but also challenging for Christians. We are chosen by God and we are dearly loved by him. Knowing this should lead us to change how we are with others. This verse challenges our behaviour towards others – we need to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. It creates a wonderful image – people can see our clothes, and this verse challenges us to show these behaviours as clearly as if they were clothes on our backs.
So, as we begin to go out more we need to show kindness and patience to others; if the queue is long be patient, maybe even let someone go in front of you. Remember those who still can’t go out and maybe offer to do some shopping for them. There are those who will be struggling, worrying about what is happening, anxious about people who may be ill or fearful of what the future holds – think about how you can show them compassion and gentleness. A phone call, or a socially distanced visit – some action that lets them see how you care.
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