At the annual Homecoming at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, you might see a famous governor, or a college president, or any number of prominent business and professional people, proudly wearing white jackets. These jackets signify that these people earned all or most of their way through college by waiting on tables. They were not ashamed of menial labor, they did not hold out for the job they liked, they did not ask for government help - they waited tables, and it helped them earn the education they have since put to such splendid use (Reader's Digest).
Though unknown to the alumni of William and Mary, Jesus started the Order of the White Jacket years ago. His preferred garment was the white jacket. Paul wrote of Him: ,Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:5-7). Jesus, though Creator and King of the world, came as a poor carpenter and servant of His creation. When His bickering disciples were too proud to wash one another's feet, He took the towel and showed them true greatness (John 13:4-10). He came to serve us, that we might learn to serve Him.
Deacons Must Wear the White Jacket
The word deacon literally means one who kicks up dust as in quick pursuit of a task. They are the special servants of the church who see after much of its physical work. This frees preachers and elders to be involved in the more important areas of teaching, prayer, and soul winning (Acts 6:1-6). Good deacons are of invaluable service to a working church because they are dependable servants.
Preachers Must Wear the White Jacket
Paul was not afraid of menial labor when it was necessary for his support (Acts 18:3). When possible, he took church support so he could give full-time labor to evangelism (2 Corinthians 11:8), but he was not afraid to get his hands dirty when it was not available (2 Corinthians 11:27). God's preachers today must be willing to work behind the scenes and out of the limelight in order to build God's Temple (cf. Philippians 6:6-7; Ephesians 2:21). Minister, as they are often called, means servant. They should aspire to that worthy position.
Christian Women Must Wear the White Jacket
Though often unnoticed, and rarely praised, godly women are the backbone of most churches. They often are the greatest servants God has. Phebe wore the white jacket long before there was a Virginia, much less a William and Mary college (Romans 16:1)! Martha, though with a priority problem, was not afraid of the white jacket (Luke 10:38-40). Paul disqualified older women from church support if they had failed to wear the white jacket. He wrote, Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man. Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work (1 Timothy 5:9-10).
All of God's Family Must Wear the White Jacket
Every church needs members who unashamedly by love serve one another (Galatians 5:13). Jesus taught us: But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant (Matthew 20:26-28; Matthew 23:11). Jesus is best served when His children care for He would care for if He was still here (Matthew 25:31-46). No church will be very successful which is not made up of white collar members - actually white jacket members. Christians must not be too proud to cut grass, change light bulbs, label bulletins, clean baptisteries, carry the elderly to the doctor or grocery store, vacuum floors, teach children's classes, or whatever it takes to keep the work done (Titus 3:8, Titus 3:14). God's men and women are willing to sit up with the sick, visit nursing homes, spend time with shut-ins, and assist the bereaved (James 1:25). The road signs along the road to success read service.
The Order of the White Jacket has a roster of which any group in the land could well be proud. Though the church may not boast of governors and presidents, we do have kings and priests (Revelation 5:10). Perhaps there should be a chapter of The Order of the White Jacket on every college campus in America. But without doubt, there must be one in every church of Christ, for in order to wear the white robes up there, we must wear the white jacket down here (Revelation 6:11).