I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness.
Clothes for Christmas
Every Christmas when I was a child, I would receive a beautifully wrapped present from my grandma. And every Christmas, without fail, I would eagerly tear open the wrapping paper to find two pairs of dress socks in the gift box. She lived during the Depression and the practical values instilled in her at that time never faded away. Unfortunately, when you’re six years old, that sort of practicality is not always fully appreciated!
Isaiah speaks in our Bible reading today about a gift of clothes that we can get excited about, clothes that cause thankful hearts to delight greatly in the Lord, clothes that cause our souls to rejoice in our God!
For who wouldn’t get excited about garments of salvation and robes of righteousness when you realize how badly we need them? Our filthy rags of sin are not appropriate for standing in God’s presence—not now, not in eternity. Every selfish action is another splotch. Every impatient word is another spill. Every hateful thought is another ugly stain of iniquity that we could never hope to get out by ourselves.
God saw that we needed new spiritual clothes, that without them, we could never spend our eternity with him, and so he gave sinners the shirt off his back. Jesus put on our rags of sin and took their punishment.
And when a person is baptized, God wraps them in the holy, perfect robes of Christ’s righteousness. In those garments of salvation, they can stand in the presence of a perfect God. In those garments of salvation, they have a place in the family of the Father and proper attire for the eternal heavenly banquet. Here is something to be genuinely excited about as you prepare for Christmas: Jesus was wrapped in strips of cloth so that you could be wrapped in robes of righteousness!
Gracious God, my soul rejoices in you, for when I did not have the proper clothes to stand in your presence, you gave them to me. May those robes of righteousness be my consolation when I fall, my comfort in times of sadness, and my hope when my last hour comes. Amen.