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You've Gotta Have this Shirt. Romans 14




The mental image has danced in my head all week. . .


Reading through the letter to the Romans can be challenging; understanding takes a little work, but it is worthwhile.

Ha, this morning I taught on Romans chapter 14 via livestream, sitting on the floor of the Salt Lake City Airport. (no paparazzi for my glam moment) The chapter takes some understanding of the culture of the young Roman church--its pressures and peculiarities and how it yet relates to us today. But first, back to my dancing head.


Sometimes my simple mind grabs ahold of something and takes me with it... like it did this week. Paul said,

"clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ..."1

a line from the middle of Romans chapter 13.


Clothe, clothe, clothe ...hmmm. My mind went for a trip to my closet, thinking 'what if I could put on a shirt that would make me like Jesus?' Hmmm--what a concept! Like Batman's cape kinda thing? Not finding one, I went to the thrift store, bought a man's dress shirt and made my own. And I like it.


Picture an over­sized man’s dress shirt that you could put right over the top of whatever else you are wearing for the day. Before you encounter anyone, you grab your ‘like Jesus’ shirt, and put it on. Get this--with the shirt comes his character.


The shirt represents so much of what we know about Jesus' kind heart and character. One sleeve has the word SERVANT . . . the other sleeve, COMPASSIONATE... across the back is KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS, and the shirt pocket has the ARMOR OF GOD, which serves as a great reminder to me, that I better put it on daily! You know, Paul talked about it in Ephesians 6--


In random spots, kinda like large polkadots are the words JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, and GENTLENESS. On each cuff, the words SELF CONTROL. Around the collar on the inside: TRUSTWORTHY, visible on the outside of the collar? FAITHFUL, just above the antique lace I sewed.


If we could put on a Jesus shirt each morning, it would remind us who we are, and whose we are. It would be a little like Orthodox Jewish men and the phylacteries they wear on their foreheads and left arms, which contain little parchment slips of verses from the Torah. Visible reminders, and statements.


Now I have never seen anyone don a Jesus shirt like the one I made, of course, but you and I could be just that intentional EACH NEW DAY, choosing to live in such a way as to honor God.


Because while it was an initial singular decision for each of us to place our trust in God, it is ours to intentionally follow the path of Jesus Christ each day, walking in the dust of our rabbi.


That is the reason I so often turn my heart toward heaven and utter the words, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart--that is, let my words and my thoughts--be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."2



But I still think I am on to something with this Jesus shirt. Are you in a small group? Why not make Jesus shirts together? Great talking points for your little community. MOPS? Make Jesus shirts, and then the moms can make them with their chillens'. THRIVE,OC at Megan's in California--make Jesus shirts! It is a way to think of our character and that of Jesus, a recalling of the fruits of the Spirit--do I have joy, peace, patience, kindness,3 etc? It is a visible reminder to put on the armor of God, as Paul taught the people he loved in Ephesus: the belt of truth, helmet of salvation, and six more...4


Let's put on Jesus - whaddyasay?

Christine




1 - Romans 13.14, NIV, one phrase

2 - Psalm 19.14. Memorize it.

3 - Great check: is the work of the Holy Spirit in me shown by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control? Galatians 5.22-23

4 - The armor of God: Ephesians 6.10-18, https://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/armor-of-god

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