This week during Spring Break, I donned a bathing suit for the first time in a long time. Such a daring feat took great courage due in part to the fact that I am an Irish-blooded, fair-skinned sun-burning machine and also to the fact that the only running I have been doing of late is running my fingers over tax forms.
I survived the experience, even though my precious children decided it would be a good time to lovingly call me one of their favorite titles, “My sweet, squishy momma.” That being said, I am definitely looking into a cloak-like cover-up while I grow back my confidence.
As such, cloaks were on the forefront of my mind this morning. And, as providence would have it, our pastor talked about cloaks today at worship. Beginning a new series on Jacob and Joseph, he taught today about Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing.
He spoke of how Jacob cloaked himself with goat skins to portray himself as his hairy twin. While the image initially made me feel better about the bathing suit situation, he went on to remind us how we cloak and hide our true selves in false identities and performances, desperate to receive blessing and favor from others. He ended speaking about the One son who deserved the birthright, the full favor, the beaming branding of the Father, Jesus, cloaking himself in humanity through the Incarnation. He wore said skin cloak that we might be able to wear the cloaks of His righteousness, that we might put on Christ and experience the undeserved and unwavering favor of the Father.
For my Sabbath time today, I spent time writing a poem to praise the Christ who wore so many different cloaks that we might be wrapped up in His righteousness rather than our own self-righteous rags. Knowing that I am covered in Him completely gives me confidence and courage, even in a bathing suit.
Cloaked in clouds He created,
Wearing the whimsical wind,
Caped in the cover of cosmos,
The sky around Him was pinned.
Yet at the Father’s bidding,
The Son pealed off His glory,
Trading it for humanity’s hues,
Humbly entering our story.
Around his new and naked frame,
The swaddling clothes were wrapt.
The Ancient of Days, willingly, in
Human limitations daily trapped.
Putting on the tunic of a teacher,
As itinerant preacher, he did roam.
He who prepares rooms for us,
Wandering without a true home.
Then they publicly stripped Him,
Mocking Him with a purple robe,
Stained with blood and blistered
His naked back did bear the globe.
Risen and cloaked again in glory,
He has returned to the throne,
Leaving robes of righteousness
For His siblings to wear on loan.
May You be cloaked in our praises,
Variegated cloth for the favored Son.
May we wrap ourselves in You,
Until heaven and earth are finally One.