Which came first in the stores – the Halloween stuff or the Christmas decorations? Or was it a tie this year? It seems the Christmas décor appears earlier each year and almost skips over Thanksgiving in the world of retail blitzing.
Halloween items, however, come in and demand attention with their dark orange and black colors and varied assortment of costumes and accessories. Honestly, Halloween creeps me out. Sure, I went trick-or-treating as a kid and watched my share of scary movies. But I’m thankful that when my kids were young, we had an event they could go to where the costumes were encouraged to be fun and silly, rather than dark and menacing. Let’s face it – without arguing the origins of Halloween, it’s really all about how much candy you can collect for most kids! Getting a fun costume is bonus. Hmmm…how many Elsa and Anna characters will there be this year?
Who doesn’t like to dress up – to be someone else, act like someone else, get out of yourself? If I’m wearing a mask or a costume, it’s easier for me to put on that person’s character traits or to take on their actions or accent than if I were just my normal self. When we work on our Christmas musical the kids love to have the roles that require a certain costume. It helps to portray their part, to be that visual representation of their role. So I get the whole dress-up attraction for this coming holiday. (And I certainly love having an excuse to eat chocolate!) But what costume am I wearing and who am I representing?
As a Christ follower, I want to represent Him 24-7. Part of the passage in Colossians 3 we’ve been memorizing talks about our spiritual “costume” – what we should wear. Verses 9 and 10 say,
“…you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”
Paul goes on in verses 12-15 to talk about other things our “costume” should include.
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
And finally, he closes this section with these words,
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
So, am I daily putting on those things which represent Jesus? Do I need to check my spiritual mirror (God’s Word) more often to make sure things are in place and haven’t slipped down or off? Wearing these things will help me portray Him as I put on His likeness. Isn’t that the best costume?