"Rouse yourself, rouse yourself! Stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath....Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion! Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city...Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter Zion!" Isaiah 51:17; 52:1-2This is only a small part of a compelling sermon first preached to a people scattered all over the place after the Lord brought devastation and destruction to Israel. Having experienced captivity for some time I imagine the mourning clothing of sack cloth and ashes alongside the chains of their tormentors being a daily reality fixated in their minds. Perhaps they are so inclined to accept this way of living that they "fall asleep" thinking that no hope exists for them, that there is no brighter days ahead.
To hear a message like this is jolting! There is hope? There are beautiful garments for us? There is something more for us than chains and old clothes?
Christmas Break Exercise continues we may need a little jolting of ourselves, a little "Hey...get up! Rouse yourself! Shake off the dust! Take off those chains! Put on some brighter clothes!" This sermon reminds us to put on our Jesus-type clothes each day. It is a choice we must make today! We choose to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12). These clothes compel us forward through the day to interact with those around us.
Knowing we need to put on each one, which piece of clothing do you need to put on most today? Wake up and put it on! Stand up in the clothing that the Lord provides us!