There was this one thing that I use to wear a lot. Nearly all day if I could. It was my comfort. I never left home without it and it never left me. I had had it ever since I could remember and it was almost as if it was a part of me. It wasn’t something I necessarily wore boldly, but deep inside it gave me an air of confidence. When I was lonely I curled up in it. When I was scared I held to it tightly and put it to great use. When I was challenged I clinched on to it even more. During stressful times I would pull it out and make sure I had it on me. During times of sorrow it helped cover my whole body. As I grew up and got older it became a little worn…then quite worn. As I went off to college to a unnerving and scary, unpredictable time. I chose to wear it way too often. In fact it was getting a little embarrassing to my closest friends. They began to talk to me about it and even challenge me to retire it, but I dug in my heels. I would point out their faux pas and laugh maniacally as I wore mine more often and more prominently. Finally in class when things went completely wrong I allowed everyone to see and that opened my eyes to the fact that I should put it back in the drawer. Slowly but surely I wore it less. It still sits in my drawer as a reminder of who I’ve been, who I am, and who I want to be. Every now and then I put it on, but its not comforting anymore, it itches, its tights, and I regret trying it on each time.
The garment of anger has been an struggle for me, even to this day. I mostly keep the beast at bay. Its part of my journey with family, friends, and with God.
There are garments that you wear too.
Garments of anger, discouragement, drugs, alcohol, food, power, gossip, slander, stealing, gambling, sexual immorality, control, lying, attention seeking, racism, sexism, ageism, manipulation, or even indifference.
They feel good to wear sometimes
One of the first things that helped me was being able to realize that anger was an issue for me. Knowing myself, Knowing yourself means something. If we claim to Know God, but don’t know ourselves, then do we really know God. He made us, he loves us, and he redeems us.
Another thing that helped me shelve my anger was the table. This is where we can really engage with Jesus. In scripture we see the scene of Jesus with his most beloved community.
Read: Luke 22:14-23
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.[a] 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
Everyone discussed who could it be, because truly it could have been any of them. None of them were perfect, actually far from it. And yet they were Jesus’ most beloved friends.
We are no different. None of us are perfect, actually far from it. And yet we are here at the table
The Table of God is the great equalizer. We are all the same when we sit at the table with Jesus. And it is a foreshadowing of what is to come when Christ returns
Read: Revelation 7:9-14
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
At the table and when Christ returns we trade in our worldly garments stained with sin and defiled allegiance for a white robe, one washed in the blood of Jesus. And while our anger our addictions, our controlling habits won’t magically disappear on this side of heaven, they can be forgiven, redeemed, and we can join Jesus at the table.
Because of that eternal truth we eat the body, the bread, we drink the blood, the cup, and we give up ourselves and realize that knowing ourselves, means that while we aren’t worthy, we are sent in the name of Jesus.