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An Annual Conference Spiritual Preparation Post

By Alberta Farnsworth

clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12b

In Ephesians 10, we read about “putting on the armor of God.” This includes the belt of truth, breastplate of justice, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit. When we are all dressed up in our armor, we are ready to go to war against the evil one. When we prepare for war, we look forward to the fight. Adrenaline surges through our bodies when we read about or make preparations to fight. Biologically, our instincts and our body functions prepare us to destroy our enemy. Our eyesight narrows to tunnel vision and sees only the enemy.

But, and it is a BIG but, Colossians 3:12b tells us to, instead, put on (or as the NIV translators write, clothe ourselves in) compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Both scriptures want the same end result; unity in the world. The difference in how the result is achieved is striking. Do we look for the lack of belief in a person, or do we look at compassion? When a person shows compassion to the homeless veteran on the street corner we see that God, our God, works through all people, even those who believe differently than we do.

When I look at a person, I cannot tell anything about their religious beliefs, their family background, their sexual identity, their education level, their income source or any other characteristic important to the census bureau. I can see a sentient being, created by God, reacting to his or her surroundings in a manner reflecting some of those characteristics. My prayer is that I react in a manner that reflects compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. I know that I often fall short of the mark and have work to do to reach the goal of perfection. I thank God that sanctification is an ongoing process and that, part of that process includes clothing myself in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, all characteristics that I can work on.

Creator God, we come before you asking you to clothe us in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. The world we live in is so full of places and people who need so many things and we can only do what you equip us to do. We ask your blessing on our efforts and ask you to shower us with the skills and love so that we can be your hands and feet to show others your love.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen

Litany on Colossians 3:12b

God who created the world and all that exists, clothes us as his workers in the world.  Our food comes to us through farmers who grow it, truckers who take it to market and grocery store employees who sell it to us.

Clothe us in kindness as we walk a mile in the work boots of those who work to provide the food which sustains us.

God who gives us the joy of new life as our children and grandchildren are born, grow and learn to love others.

Clothe us in gentleness as we walk a mile in the booties of the very young.

God who teaches us that we often miss the mark such as the time in the history of the United States when the Doctrine of Discovery informed our treatment of the indigenous population.

Clothe us in compassion as we walk a mile in the moccasins of the Native American inhabitants of the land we live in.

God who came to earth as a human being, a feeling, learning, loving human being and yet remained one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, teaches us the power of waiting.

Clothe us in patience as we walk a mile in the sandals of those who in their life walk with Jesus.

God who created all human beings in His own image has given us the ability to have sufficient food and water for all people, if only we would learn how to share equitably.

Clothe us in humility as we walk a mile barefoot with those in this world who do not have the necessities to sustain life.

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Video Devotional #2

By Rev. Nancy Cushman

Video Devotional #1

by Rev. Dan Morley

Devotional Introduction

by Rev. Beth Rambikur

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