Dress Code of Heaven

My Life Journal musings for today….

Mark 16:5  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

Observation:  Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, got a big surprise when they went to visit the tomb of Jesus. It had to be pretty spooky! It’s not everyday you go to the cemetery and meet a visitor from heaven.

Application:  We just passed Halloween in our cultural celebrations and All Saints Day (or “the day of the dead”) is this Sunday.  We celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us.  In preparation for Sunday, I’ve been reading in Revelation 7 this week…where it describes this great crowd of people from every nation, tribe, people and language..all wearing white robes.  There are other places in the Scriptures that describe visitors of heaven in white robes; it seems to be the dress code of heaven. (John 20:12; Matthew 28:2-3; Luke 24:4)

I wonder what it will feel like to be dressed in white? In our human context we think of a bride – pure – clean – carefully prepared.  Sometimes we even discuss silly questions like, “is it OK for a bride to wear white for a second marriage?”  We take those questions seriously; most often the answer is “no, it is not OK. She can wear off white or color, just not white.”   But that is not how God works.  God offers us something new to wear…something that does not bear the marks and wounds of life on earth.  And it is not a color that says, “not quite perfect”.  Dressed in white there is nothing to prevent us from feeling worthy to move forward…to walk straight into the holy space and take our place in heaven.  When he was struggling so hard with his mistakes, King David cried out in his prayer to God, “wash me and I will be whiter than snow..” (Ps 51:7).

Somehow, by God’s grace and the pouring out of God’s love in the life of Jesus Christ, God has made it clear: all of our mistakes, dysfunctions, failures, those “what was I thinking???” moments…none of it stands in the way of what we will become.  None of it causes Jesus to say, “Ummmm….sorry, your white robe was taken off the rack yesterday, it isn’t here”.   Love is stronger than death and God is love. Sometimes mistakes and sin feel like “death”.  They destroy our self-worth.  They distract us from the greater things God has for us.  They make us turn away from God because we think we are no longer “good enough” to ask for God’s help or God’s grace, much less God’s plan for our life!   That’s just not true.  There is a white robe with your name on it hanging on a rack in heaven.  And every now and then, in the ordinary days of life on earth, God is going to invite you to see a glimpse of how good it looks on you.  And if you are really interested in a relationship with God – you are likely to get invited to wear that robe in some very surprising ways while you are on earth! You will probably never know you have it on…but you will know something heavenly has taken up residence in you.  Enjoy the journey.

Prayer:  Gracious God, thank you for finding so many ways to get our attention and draw us into your love.  Thank you for coming to earth in the life of Jesus Christ and revealing yourself to us in a way that we could relate to as human beings.  I love you and I’m looking forward to someday wearing my white robe!  Please help me to live into its fitting while I’m here on earth.

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