Maybe, we should all worship naked.
Now before you get all offended on me, hear my rationale. This past Sunday I had the privilege of preaching. I always love it when I get the opportunity to share what the Lord has been doing in this messy life of mine and I think it occasionally even encourages a few folks to draw closer to Jesus.
At FBC, the first service bears the label “traditional.” What that means is we get to hear a dapper-looking choir in matching robes, we sing hymns and listen to organ music mixed with piano. Neckties are important, suit coats are pressed and hairdos are puffy. It’s a good-looking crowd.
The second service is labeled “contemporary.” Praise bands play guitars, bass and drummers drum while we sing the latest in Christian music. More than a few coffee cups can be spotted sporting their Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts logos and older people wonder if younger people are experiencing a shortage of combs because their hair has purposely been made to look somewhat chaotic. Neckties are few and far between and jeans are more the norm for the men.
The same message is preached to each crowd.
I play dress-up for the first service. I put on a suit and tie even though it makes me feel somewhat like a poser. For the second service I change into my comfortable clothes and feel more at home and able to breath. What puzzles me is the way people react.
I had one woman pretty upset with me when she saw that I had changed out of my suit and tie after the first service. “Don’t you want to give God your best?” she asked. For her, my suit was “my best” and my jeans and argyle sweater were dumpy.
I didn’t get drawn into debating clothing but I did toss her question around in my head a little. The reality was my suit outfit cost me less than $150 at an S&K Warehouse sale while the jeans, shirt, sweater, belt combo cost more than that. By her standards, I think I gave God my best in the second service … if clothing has anything at all to do with it.
“Good to see you in a tie,” one guy told me before the first service. I asked him why ties were important to him. He linked it to respect. We are good enough friends that I challenged him to do a little tie research in the coming week. Historically ties have been a sign of wealth, power and status. I wonder when they made the leap to being a sign of godliness for so many.
After the second worship service one woman was very upset that one of the guitar players had a tattoo. Her view was that he should have covered it up during the service. I don’t even know where to go with that.
Adam and Eve were naked. Then they did what we all do; they went their own way and pushed God’s way aside. As soon as they took the bite, the first thing that changed was their attitude about clothing. From fig leaves to togas to suits and ties, it has been a big deal ever since.
No, we can’t worship naked. No matter what we wear or do not wear, it will always be an issue to some in this family of ours. I wonder if anyone heard what I said Sunday? I think it was good stuff.
What does God want us to wear? I think it’s pretty clear in Colossians 3:12-14
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.(The Message)