What's So Special?
A few days ago, our little country town experienced what might be
called a gala event. The local reportoire company wanted to raise
some funds to support our self made community theater. Obviously I
did not attend but since they had blocked off a street leading to
my Church, I couldn't avoid seeing the relatively lavish decorations
of two large tents set up in the middle of the street in front of
the theater. I am not sure when the gala event took place, but the
newspaper splashed it on front page. It was referred to as a "Boots
& Tie" affair. I am not sure what that meant. Maybe I don't have
all the culture I thought I had. Anyway, the large newspaper photo
was of the serving table which was covered with hors d'oeuvres
etc to the hilt. The guests were caught filling their saucers and their faces
with the goodies. The article said that they even had wine tasting.
(Is that a sly way of getting around breaking ordinances against serving
liquor without a license?)
I need to get to a point before I am accused of pretending that
this is a Church bulletin. The point is a actually a sore point with
me. Macon is a farming community. At least most of the population
of the town are connected to a farm in one way or another. I know
only a few full time farmers. For the last 20 years I have kept asking
the question, "Why don't folks around here dress up for Church?" The
staid answer goes something like this, "We don't want to give the
impression that one has to have nice clothes to come to Church." I
agree in principle, but I don't actually believe that is true. I
have noticed that for special occasions, such as a wine tasting,hors d'oeuvres
eating, theater supporting gala and such like around Macon, people
will show up in some pretty fancy duds. These same folks would otherwise
wear faded blue jeans and a logo'd tee-shirt giving the impression
that they were poor as church mice.
I don't want to make dressing nice a criteria for our Church, because
I do not want anyone to stay away because of fashion. Also I don't
want to make people do anything they don't want to do themselves for
God unless it is clear in Scripture.
On the other hand, I believe God's house deserves the same or better
respect that a gala deserves. I believe that if one would dress up
for a wedding, or a funeral, or a political fund raiser, then that
same one should dress up to attend God's house. If a farmer gets done
milking 10 minutes before Church, then I would welcome milk clothes
to Church. But if he gets done an hour before services, then he should
dress appropriate to meet God.
I have often thought that we dress up for special occasions and
we dress casual when we are casual.