Stitch A New Garment.
It has once been said that we are to never judge a book by its cover, but as a society, we tend to change our perception of the people we meet by their style and choice of clothes. Does what we wear matter? If you ask most people, they will tell you that people can wear whatever they like. However, what if you told those same people that last Sunday, you wore your bikini to church and a suit and tie to the beach? What then? Our clothes can either help us to fit in or make us stand out. So, as believers, are we better off just going with the flow and learn to fit in? Or do we set up our sewing machines, choose the scarlet thread, and let God stitch a new garment?
Stichographic writing is a line of writing known as a ‘stitch’. Mainly used in poems, this style of writing creates beats within sentences as each word is carefully thought out and placed in its position on purpose. The book of Revelation is filled with metaphor, symbol, and imagery. The heart of this book beats its rhythm in every word and every syllable, which fills the reader’s imagination with wonder. A poetic piece of writing by its author, John, that challenges the reader to stitch a new garment with the very fabric of his words, connecting the multidimensional facets of Christ that builds tension, pace, and energy within this revelation.
However, through the messiness and chaos of life, our garments can become stained and dirty, leaving a residue that clings to our newly stitched clothing. Our sinful condition which can manipulate our thoughts and actions, absorbs shadows rather than reflect His Light. In Amanda Gorman’s recent inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb” she finishes the poem by saying, “For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” Can we, as believers, be brave enough to stitch a new garment that is full of Light? Are we willing to spring clean out our closets that are hanging with last season’s attitudes, stuffed full of judgment, bitterness, and pride? Could we become the blessed ones who have washed their garments, so the Tree of Life is ours for good? (Revelation 22:14)
Perhaps. Could we? Maybe. For the next generation’s sake, I do hope so. Because if we can be His Light in the darkness which can so often clothe us, the new garments that have been stitched together with the scarlet thread of His truth and love will stay cleaner. The culture in which we’ve settled for cannot so easily soil our faith. The redemptive power of the cross needs to be applied regularly as a prewash, cleansing the shame and the guilt that the accuser throws at us, brightening the Light that cannot be hidden.
For our enemy knows the power that lies within a pure heart, who dares to lean on God’s grace for help. He tells us that our newly stitched garment will not stay clean for long, reminding us of our failure to keep it clean. And he is right. No, we can’t keep it clean with our efforts. We haven’t enough gumption or willpower to keep our garments whiter than white. But in God, we can. In Christ’s strength, we can. And the Spirit beckons us all to “come” and take the water of life so we can wash our hands, cleanse our hearts and clean our clothes. To come bravely to the water, wearing our honesty and integrity on the sleeves of our garments, letting the Father remove the dirt which we wanted to be forgotten. The hidden stains that we tried to cover in His Presence by more layers of lies.
1 John 1:9 provides us with a glimpse of God’s grace and lets us know that ‘…if we own up to our sins, God shows that He is faithful and just by forgiving us of our sins and purifying us from the pollution of all the bad things we have done.’
Are you brave enough to let God give your closet a good spring clean this season and let Him stitch a new garment with the scarlet thread of His love? I hope so. For the next generation, I do hope so.
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