Friday, February 7, 2014

"Holy Garb"

     I ran across the old photograph as I cleaned and reorganized a drawer.  Our son Noah stared at me from more than 20 years ago, dressed in his Cub Scout uniform, his arm cocked in the traditional Scout salute.

    Flash ahead two decades.  We have pictures of our grandson Jackson in his Cub Scout attire, wearing the very same shirt (with the exception of a different troop patch).  Frances stored the garment long ago as a keepsake, not thinking that it might again be worn some day.  When Jackson joined the Scouts last year, however, she remembered the shirt.  Removing it from the hope chest in which it had long rested, she wondered if Noah might think it appropriate for his old uniform to return to service for his son.  He did.  Moreover, Jackson loved the idea, and now wears the shirt proudly to every meeting as a symbol of the organization to which he belongs, and perhaps even more, of the man to whom he belongs.

    "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).

    The spiritual union of born again believers with the Lord Jesus Christ adorns us with His righteousness.  The hymnwriter Isaac Watts stated it beautifully, "And lest the shadow of a spot should on my soul be found, He took the robe our Savior wrought, and cast it all around!"  As the freest gift ever given, purchased by the highest cost ever remitted, God imputes the merits of His Son to us so completely that He now and forevermore counts us as justified.  "It was imputed to him (Abraham) for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:22-25).  Believers spiritually wear the holy garb of our Lord, and are received into the favor of God thereby.

    I wonder how Jackson feels when wearing his dad's old shirt.  He knows it was provided freely.  He's aware that his father wore the uniform as a symbol of the organization and pack to which he belonged.  He realizes, even as a seven year old boy, the special nature of being adorned by an old and well worn garment, graced with family history.  Doubtless, he also desires to do the uniform proud, both to honor the Scouts and his father.  I'll allow you to draw the obvious spiritual analogies.  Suffice it to say that our entire family finds a special blessing in this gift Frances and I purchased long ago for our son, which he now has passed on to our grandson.  Little did we realize the blessing that awaited, both in terms of family, and in the shining illustration of a far greater Gift purchased long ago for the purpose of adorning us with "the robe our Savior wrought."

"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
(I Corinthians 1:30-31)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "O LORD, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth."
(Isaiah 25:1)

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