It happens every day for most of us. We decide what to wear. Some days the choices are more automatic, if school or work has a dress code or uniform. On other days, we might get to make some more detailed decisions about how we will clothe ourselves. But almost every day since sometime in our childhood, we have dressed ourselves for where we are planning to head.
As the Apostle Paul was wrapping up his first letter to his Christian sisters and brothers in Thessalonica, he mentioned to them some fashion tips for the days ahead.
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing. I Thessalonians 5:8-11
Like us, these Christians were living their lives, each day, seeking to follow Jesus. They had jobs and families. They enjoyed good health, and yet some of their loved ones were sick and dying. They knew the joys and struggles of life here on earth, and they kept one eye turned toward life beyond this world. And in all that, Paul reminded them to dress for the day: “Put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.”
In the military garb of the day, Paul mentioned a breastplate, something which could protect the vital organs from assault. Faith and love are pretty effective defenses against the arrows and swords that poke and prod us during some of the more contentious days of life. And what can assure us that we will survive even the most aggressive, possibly potentially fatal attacks that might be aimed at us? The helmet of the hope of salvation is granted us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Faith. Love. The hope of salvation. God has given us a pretty good way to dress for each day.
God of grace and mercy, as I get ready for another day, cover me completely with the love, faith, and salvation that You have given me through my Lord and Savior Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.