Bible Studies Devotional By Susan Niswonger / a couple of years ago Share Tweet Pin Share Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness. I am at church playing the piano, everyone is singing and acting as if nothing is out of place, but I am terrified that sooner or later someone is going to notice that somehow I forgot to get dressed. Yes, I am at church, playing the piano with no clothes on. It is just one of those common, recurring dreams that so many people have experienced and therapists just love to interpret. The striking thing about this dream is I am aware of my lack of apparel but everyone else is oblivious, there is an opposite story which I think a therapist would find much more fascinating. As a child, my mother would read Fairy Tales to us before bedtime. It opened a whole world of fantasy and imagination; I could be anything, go anywhere and do anything. There was one story, however, that I found to be puzzling and a little disturbing. It was the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Just in case it’s been a long time, let me refresh your memory. The emperor orders a new set of clothes from the royal tailor. The tailor measures the emperor then spends weeks cutting, sewing and fitting the garments so they will hang just right. The day finally arrives, the clothes are finished, the emperor tries them on and parades down the street to show them off to his subjects. Everyone oohs and aahs; they bow, kiss his hand and compliment the emperor on his new clothes. Finally, one little boy loudly proclaims what everyone else pretended not to see; “Mommy, the emperor has no clothes!” Last week during the Miss USA beauty pageant, Miss California was asked a question regarding gay marriage. Her answer stated that she felt that marriage should be between a man and a woman. She was booed, ridiculed and ultimately came in second place in the contest. The religious world held her up as an icon and their new ambassador for Biblical marriage all the while the news channels ran nonstop footage of her parading across the stage in a brief bikini. The glory of her unclothed body seemed to overshadow the Glory of God that wanted to shine through her words. However, the Christian world oohed and aahed. Yesterday, a news report came out regarding the same woman along with pictures of her posed provocatively in various stages of undress. Her reply was that the pictures were posted as another slam against her religion and stand for God. EXCUSE ME??????? WHO POSED FOR THE PICTURES? Finally, the little boy in the crowd, Shepherd Smith of Fox News, proclaimed, “I guess religion and nakedness mix now. Whatever happened to modesty?” Thanks Shep for having the nerve to say what most of us didn’t notice or were afraid to say lest we be accused of being judgmental. I fear this is just a small symptom of an evil virus that has infiltrated the church body. We want to “talk the talk” but don’t bother me to “walk the walk.” An athlete points to the sky, giving thanks to God for the touchdown, then yells expletives at the referee if he disagrees with the call. An actress gives her testimony on Christian television one week and appears in the tabloids the next week because of a sordid affair. A Sunday School teacher can’t pay his tithes this week because he lost it in the casino, Saturday night. A car has a bumper sticker asking people to “Honk if you love Jesus,” then the driver gives an obscene gesture at the man in the car next to him that dared smile and honk. Somewhere along the way we’ve lost our “Robe of Righteousness.” We are naked and “Don’t know it.” Is there a brave preacher anywhere that will stand in the pulpit and proclaim, “The emperor has no clothes.” In my dream, although no one seems to notice, I am mortified that I am naked. The situation can be changed because I am aware there is a problem. The Emperor, on the other hand is either not aware of his nakedness or has convinced himself that if he declares he is clothed, it becomes truth. By parading naked through the streets, we have opened ourselves and the message we proclaim to shame and ridicule. There is a dying world screaming, “The emperor has no clothes.” Their screams and our self-serving, oblivious attitudes are drowning out a Life-changing message. It is time to open the Word of God, take an honest look in the mirror and once again let the Savior cover us with His blood and robe of righteousness.