This past week, our preschool students and Wonderful Wednesday kids showed off their awesome Halloween costumes at the church. There were superheroes, movie heroines, mythological creatures, historical figures (Did you know Einstein goes to preschool at CUMC?!), and even a banana! The kids were so excited to wear and share their special costumes, and everyone who saw them couldn’t help but smile.
Why are costumes so exciting? For many people, putting on a costume is a chance to become someone or something else for a little while. When you wear the costume, you’re “wearing” a different identity. If you look at the costumes our kids wear on Halloween, more often than not they’re choosing to dress up as someone they admire or someone they’d like to be - an action hero with amazing skills and supernatural abilities, a beloved character in their favorite movie, or a smart and talented historical figure who changed the world.
As Christians, the person we most admire and want to be like is Jesus Christ. What would it look like if we put on the costume of Christ? Does it mean we should wear t-shirts with clever Christian sayings? Or maybe it’s wearing a cross necklace? Or, if we’re really serious about dressing like Christ, maybe we need to put on a robe and sandals. The Bible gives us some clues in Colossians (Paul’s letter to the church in the city of Colossae) about what it means to put on the costume of Christ:
“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:12-14, The Message)
Did you catch that? Putting on the costume of Christ means dressing in LOVE! It’s not about changing our external appearance. Instead, it’s about showing the world our hearts full of love. So in addition to putting on a Halloween costume this year, let’s put on the costume of Christ by sharing love with neighbors and strangers. Let’s demonstrate compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline, and forgiveness to everyone who knocks on our door asking for candy tonight. Better yet, let’s wear the costume of Christ every day and with everyone we meet.