Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17)
It’s tough to settle on just one or two pieces of this favorite passage to focus on in this post. Even the very first phrase brings me into deep contemplation. “Put on then…” Living a holy life, a beautiful life, a pure life, a good life – it’s a choice of your free will. It is not put on you by someone else; it is not lived by default. Consciously, willfully, purposefully… that is how we are to daily put on the new life in God that we receive by Baptism. Whether I put it on yesterday or the day before or ever before, today I can put it on. Everything that follows (or has the potential to follow with God’s grace and our efforts) hinges on us first choosing to live that life. Each day… each situation… each relationship; in all circumstances we can choose to live according to the truth of who we are as children of God, made in His image, redeemed by Him, possessing dignity beyond measure and a purpose beyond this world. We make that choice to cloak ourselves in the love, grace and discipline of Christ and we open the gates to all that God wishes to make of our lives.