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Daily Devotional • May 6

Ben Hankinson
Putting on Love
A Reading from Colossians 3:12-17 

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lordhas forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

During recess and gym class as a child, I remember the picking of teams before our games of kickball. The first two to the diamond were the captains, and they would systematically make their selections, alternating back and forth until everyone had been chosen. Occasionally, there would be some confusion about who was chosen for what team.

When people look at Christians, there should be no confusion. They should see those who have been chosen by God. Our jersey is the baptismal garment and all that it entails. By the power of the Spirit, we “Put to death therefore what is earthly in [us]” that we may with the help of God’s grace put on the life of Christ and clothe ourselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Above all, we put on love.

St. Paul is not setting out rules for those who are still trying to make the team. He is reminding those who have received the gift of grace by faith of what the Christian life is. Those who are already chosen, the family of God, are to cultivate a life of virtue and fruit befitting the call we have received. Like Christ, we are to respect the will of God and his purposes of forgiveness and salvation, loving and serving others on behalf of the kingdom.

To be chosen is to have a purpose. On the kickball diamond, it was to strive for victory with your teammates, taking your position on defense and your turn on offense. As Christians, it is for us to be enrolled in the life of the Church for the sake of the world, that we may, “in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

The Rev. Benjamin Hankinson is the Director of Admissions for Nashotah House Theological Seminary and Priest in Charge of St. James in West Bend, Wisconsin. Originally from South Carolina, he has also served parishes in the Diocese of Springfield.

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Church of the Holy Faith, Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain
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