Canon Joe Gibbes' Sermon for the First Sunday of Christmas–You Are What You Wear

…in Isaiah’s image, the garland is the very thing that identifies the bridegroom as a bridegroom, and the jewels identify the bride as the bride. It’s the first thing you notice about them and the very thing that defines who they are. Think of a how a modern bride’s stunning white dress and a modern groom’s white tie set them apart so that all may see who they are and celebrate with them.

Isaiah is saying that in the same way, God has placed the mantle of salvation and the robe of his own righteousness upon his people that they may stand out and be identified ”“ NOT because of who they are and what they’ve accomplished (or not accomplished) but because of who HE is and what HE has done. Isaiah is rejoicing because salvation is not achieved by strong city walls or enormous temples or successful lives, but is given as a gift of God’s grace, adorning his people with his own righteousness, his very own character, that all may see who they are, and whose they are, and celebrate together. You really are what your wear!

This is Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes, in reverse…

Read it all.


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