What about the Cloak of Racism and the Coat of Forgiveness—any Lessons in the Devotional?
Leaders are called upon to don different apparel at various times for diverse purposes—we differentiate on clothing for funerals, weddings, sports, social occasions, media moments, and business. Clothing sends signals, denotes purpose and communicates with audiences. The coat is the first thing seen, from afar off, the vehicle that transports the message of the moment. Whereas the cloak hides the dagger, the coat displays character.
Today, I ask myself a number of questions: “What coat am I wearing; what is its purpose; when do I change it, for what length of time shall I wear it, and in what condition shall I pass it on? Coats must be worn loosely, not as cloaks to conceal, but as coats to share, so that they can be exchanged when necessary. Truly, by their coats, you shall know them.
I am persuaded that the new normal calls for us to don different coats, for various functions and occasions. We have been accustomed to wearing the same coat, day in and day out, but life has many varied functions, and leaders are called to have a wardrobe of coats. Our coats can become anachronistic, irrelevant, and threadbare. I normally carry around a number of coats, ready to don the relevant coat for the appropriate occasion of ministry. Coat selection calls for devotion, care and prayer so that they could do not become cloaks of concealment.
Joseph had a coat, seen from miles away, an exaggeration to make the point. Samuel’s mother brought him an annual change of coats; both Elijah and Elisha had coats and used them by faith. Coats are such important symbols. Today, I am wearing a COVID Coat—it has several layered colors and serves many functions of speak up, speak out, be quiet. Each of the coats we wear over time, becomes located in the wardrobe of character.
Coats have legacies which is what you leave behind for others through our children, our graduates, our work-force, and our institutions. We are called upon to don our coats, but not keep them forever, for coats are lent to us as stewards only for a time. We are to pass them on in good order and care, with an occasional dry-clean or even a thorough wash. I am keeping my coats all brushed and ready. I use them to speak from pulpits, roadsides and fire-places, ever mindful that I’ll have to pass on my wardrobe of coats at some time, but meanwhile, I’ll just use my wardrobe as a gospel witness.
Feel welcome to my published article, “The Legacy of a Coat” in The Seventh-day Adventist Educators’ Blog. Click on the link; enjoy. https://educators.adventist.org/2020/08/legacy-coat/