Connections 12.26.2021: Christmas Clothes

Colossians 3:1-17

When I was a boy, my parents had a Christmas routine. My father would go to one of the department stores in our small town, where he would engage the help of the wife of the couple that owned the store in selecting a dress as a Christmas gift for my mother. Mrs. Deraney would box and wrap the dress that she and my dad had selected. On Christmas morning, my father would present the gift to my mother. She would say, “Oh how pretty! I’ll take it back.”

Mrs. Deraney had excellent taste, but my mother’s taste differed greatly. Mama wanted a dress that suited her.

If you received some new clothes for Christmas, I hope they suit you just fine.

This week’s lesson text talks about some Christmas clothes that we have all received and should wear. They are Christmas clothes in the sense that we can put them on because Jesus Christ entered this world at Bethlehem and grew up to die on the cross and to rise from the grave. Because he did those things, we can here and now live the new life that he makes available. So our Christmas clothes are also our Good Friday and Easter clothes.

So what clothes should we put on?

Our lesson text instructs us, “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (v. 12). They are the ways of life that are ours because we follow Jesus. We care about others more than we care about ourselves. We bear with others. We do what we can to help others.

Our text also teaches us, “Clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (v. 14). We are to clothe ourselves with love “above all.” We are blessed to be able to experience and to live out the love of Christ in our lives. Love is the glue that holds our lives together, that holds the church together, and that holds the universe together.

God has made some wonderful clothes available to us through Christ. They fit us just right. They are the appropriate wardrobe for us Christians.

Oh, and they are for everyday wear—not just for special occasions!

Discussion

  • What difference does our being “raised with Christ” (v. 1) make in our lives? What difference should it make?
  • What effect should our being Christians have on our daily lives? Why should it affect us in those ways?
  • Why can we not stay the same after we become Christians? Why must our lives change?
  • Since love “binds everything together in perfect harmony” (v. 14), what might happen if we don’t practice love?
  • What does it mean to “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” (v. 17)? How can we know that we are doing something in Jesus’ name?

Michael Ruffin is husband to Debra, father to Joshua (Michelle) and Sara (Benjamin), grandfather to Sullivan and Isabella. A graduate of Mercer University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he has previously served as a pastor and as a university professor. He lives on the Ruffin Family Farm in Yatesville, Georgia. He is the Connections Series Curriculum Editor.

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