The other day I was walking along a street in Charlottetown when a man came up to me and asked, “you’re a minister, aren’t you?” I was surprised. I didn’t have my clergy color on and as far as I knew there was nothing in my appearance or the way I walked that would give me away, as a ministry. But I confessed anyway, “yes, I am a priest at St. Paul’s Church,” I said.
The conversation went on as it typically does, he told me about his Church and he had a few questions about ours. Then we parted company. I never did ask him how he knew I was a minister. Was it that obvious? I was just glad that I wasn’t doing anything stupid at the time, which is far more likely than I like to imagine.
Encounters like that get my mind wondering. What if everyone had to wear something that identified their religious affiliation? In many places in the world this is in fact what happens. It would force us to be true to our faith because everyone would know what we believed. If we acted contrary to our beliefs people could point out our misbehaviour immediately.
Paul writes to the Galatians (3:27), “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” And in Ephesians he writes (6:11), “Put on the whole armour of God…” Paul knew that being a follower of Jesus Christ was not a part-time commitment, it was about his whole life, and it is about our whole life. We are to proclaim the Gospel with our whole being, as plainly as if it were our clothing.
As we live, and move and have our being we walk the way of God.