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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The right clothes

Jesus gives them to us. Will we wear them?

Clothes do say something about the person. Always have. Here’s what three different kinds of clothing told about those who wore them in Jesus’ day: A cloak of purple signaled the wearer’s status and wealth. One of scarlet was a cheaper alternative, for someone who aspired to purple. A camel-hair robe expressed a prophetic role, or desire. In each case, the chosen clothes reveal identity, values and aspirations.

lawrence opMatthew’s Gospel focuses on clothes, especially on Good Friday. Jesus’ clothes are stripped off and replaced with a cloak of scarlet, the cheap color of status — but also of blood.


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October issue

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