Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
For many years, people have argued about the wearing of school uniform, and one of the most potent arguments in favour is the fact that school uniforms cause all children to appear equal.
Paul begins this chapter of his letter by rebuking the Galatian church, but ends, as so often happens, with some good news – we are now one in Christ Jesus. One of the major causes of this is Baptism, something which hopefully links us all. Even a denomination such as ours, with strands coming from various traditions, contains a dispersed leadership often with confusing titles, but we are all one. We all believe the same thing, and we all are one in Christ. The Sacrament of Baptism has given us a uniform, which despite our differences in background, upbringing, and race, make us equal, not only sharing the joy of that equality, but making us as one with the persecuted Church.
I remember many years ago having access to a dressing up box at school. I found a jumper I liked, and wore it constantly for a few weeks. The fact that it was far too large for me and I kept tripping over didn’t matter.
The miracle of our baptism is that Jesus gives us a uniform that is neither too big nor too small. His intention is not to trip us up, nor indeed, to restrict our movement. It is something we should wear with pride, not only among our Christian friends, but among those who aren’t yet believers.
Father God, help us to wear our uniform with pride. You have made it to fit each and all of us, and as we go about our daily business, teach us to use what we’ve been given through Baptism for the benefit of our church, and indeed, all people with who we come into contact. Amen.
David Reynolds is a serving Elder at Cores End URC in Buckinghamshire.