Read 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:6
Do you have an outfit that you wear whenever you need to feel confident and ready to take on the world? Maybe it’s just a special pair of shoes, or a tie, a great hair cut or a favorite song that make you feel like you could do anything you set your mind to. When you step out of the house, you feel like a new person. This is what is evoked when we read this passage.
Paul speaks of seeing ourselves reflecting the glory of the Lord, as Moses did, but without veiling our faces as Moses did, so that the whole world can see and share in that glory. He speaks of acting with the same sort of boldness we have when we put on something that makes us feel great about ourselves.
Think about when you wear that favorite outfit that gives you confidence and boldness – not only do you feel like you could do anything, but people around you pick up that bold spirit as well, and may take chances just because of your example.
Paul does not talk about putting on the glory of the Lord, as we do an outfit, but in Romans (13:12, 14) he speaks of putting on the “armor of light” and even “the Lord Jesus Christ.” In Ephesians (4:24, 6:10-17), he talks about clothing yourself with “the new self created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” and putting on “the whole armor of God.” There is something about living into this new life in Christ that is like putting on a new outfit. And that outfit will reflect both the holiness of God and be like armor, both of these qualities making us bold and confident as we go out into the world and do as Jesus calls us to do.
And we aren’t supposed to hide this confidence, this boldness, this glory, but rather let it shine. And by letting it shine, others may be emboldened as well. Paul has spoken of looking into a mirror in a previous letter to the Corinthians, but in 1 Corinthians 13:12, he speaks of seeing in a mirror only dimly, of a faith that needs to mature, of a future where we will see more clearly. Here it seems as though perhaps the Corinthians are being called to look again into the mirror, and see clearly what God has done in their lives. No longer is it the time for small actions, for dull, unremarkable, averageclothing, but time to wear Christ boldly and to be bold. God has given us everything! We should show the whole world! We should be to others as God is to us – loving with abandon, sharing meals with all we meet, telling them about this God who loves us.
Reflect: What makes you feel bold and confident? What if you thought of that as putting on your new self or an armor of light? How would that change how you see the world, and what would you do?
Devotion from Megan Dosher Hansen and Michael Rineheart in “A Heart for Reconciliation”