Spirituality with Clothes On?

A new book by this title ends with this question, “How will you put together the clothing of your life with the wardrobe of Christ?”

It’s a great question to ponder, even if you haven’t read about the ways the language of faith you grew up with, your gender, personality, life stage, family systems, and your broader cultural historical contexts impact the faith you live by.

That’s the kind of stuff that Gareth Brandt thinks about when he writes about the clothing of our lives. Then he adds  the impacts of changing culture, of living in a consumerist economy and of facing our own woundedness, thereby making a strong case for an experience clothed spirituality.

While I agree with the case he makes, it does provide one with a full wardrobe of clothing to consider! It’s a wardrobe that can feel heavy, especially if one reads right through the book  and tries out the whole wardrobe at once. It would be better to try it on and think about this wardrobe in chunks with others.

And yet, we do live our lives under the influences of all these factors!  They are the stuff that makes us into the diverse, fascinating, and frustrating creatures we are. The cover artist illustrated this multiplicity by using a patchwork quilt. While created from many different patches, each quilt is unique and has it’s own beauty and practicality.  That’s a helpful image. What kind of quilt has grown up around your soul?  Hmm.

From this focus on the self, Gareth culminates his wise study book with a focus on the compassionate and loving clothing of Christ, as described in Colossians 3: 12-17. No matter what kind of quilt we are wrapped up in, we can all grow into greater compassion, humility, patience, forgiveness, love, and peace. These values create a uniting overcoat which has the potential to transform us into signs of God’s reign on earth; signs into which we can all grow with all our individuality.

I recommend this book for small groups who are willing to explore both their spirituality and their experiential wardrobes. But, be warned. You might feel a little naked as you explore this clothing.

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About Elsie Hannah Ruth Rempel

As a young senior whose life could easily have ended in a nasty car crash in 2012 I live with an extra dose of gratitude to God, humanity, and the wonders of our human bodies. I am a passionate advocate for ministry WITH children and seniors in the life and ministry of the church. I started working in Faith Formation with Mennonite Church Canada in 2002. Thinking and writing about faith helps me see God at work in all kinds of surprising places. I'd like to be remembered as one who encourages others to live into God's good dream for our world. My book, Please Pass the Faith: The Spiritual Art of Grandparenting, is one big way I'm trying to share that encouragement with my peers. This blog is another way I'd like to engage people who care about growing in faith across the generations.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Clothing, community, Differently abled spirituality, Pastoral Psychology, spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Spirituality with Clothes On?

  1. The weighty glory, the kabod or kavod, is a heavy wardrobe, but oh how glorious! Christ in us is the hope of glory! May you be blessed!

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