I painted this picture many years ago. Its the only decent painting I've ever done. Jack is the award-winning water color artist in the family, not me. It was an interesting project, as the folds and wrinkles were a challenge to capture realistically.
I wear a lot of linen in the summer. Mostly colorful linen shirts over tanks - a nice cool layered look. And often, even though the shirts starts out nice and smooth and pressed, it doesn't take long for all those folds and wrinkles to appear.
Which started me thinking - isn't that like life in Christ? We accept Christ as our savior - we get Baptized - and we fell all newly pressed. We come up out of the baptismal water with the words "alive in Christ!" And there we are - all nicely perfected - like a smooth just-pressed linen shirt. But eventually we start feeling a bit wrinkled... a bit creased... a bit crushed.
Did you know that linen was considered the cloth for holy garments? We see it in Exodus where linen is the cloth for Aaron and his sons - the priestly family of the Israelites. We see it in references to holy raiment. It is what the Bride of Christ is described wearing in Revelation.
What do we do when we start feeling our lives getting a bit crushed... When we don't feel that holiness we felt at our baptism....when we, like a linen shirt lose that just-pressed condition?
Join us Sunday for worship where we will explore this further. I'll be the one in the linen shirt... hopefully still pressed by 11:00 am.