Tuesday, April 29, 2014

clothing yourself for worship.....

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.- Colossians 3:12

note- all images taken from Google Images- via the web

have you seen one of the latest articles floating around social media on "stop dressing tacky for church".... you can check it out by clicking here. 

I'm not here to jump on my soapbox about that article and say right or wrong on the matter. Only that since attending Wiregrass Church, a branch of a "mega come as you are church", I will share what God has taught me about clothing myself before Him in Worship. 

Over 2 years ago, Tim and I joined the Guest Services Team at Wiregrass Church. That is a team designed to serve in our church any way that would be fitting for Guests. Whether it's preparing coffee, greeting incomers with a hello, showing visitors around and the like. 

Tim and I received "front door duty" a lot and it allowed us every Sunday to see the familiar, and the not so familiar faces grace the church doors. 

When we first started attending Wiregrass, we had heard the rumors and read the bumper sticker alluding to the casual dress attire. 

I won't lie, the first Sunday, we dressed casual. I hadn't yet broken out the jeans, but at first it was nice to not have to iron down the lace just so on the girl's dresses, find matching socks and heaven forbid a matching ribbon tied for the hair, after all....Satan tries to keep us from worship every Sunday, why let him use that pink satin strand to do it.....We simply walked through the doors, were warmly greeted and simply worshiped our Maker....simply.

Since that day, the Sunday attire was never an issue for our family. Before that, meeting everyone's standards was tough.....it's dang near impossible.

In my 100+ days of hello's to incomers, I've never seen pajamas and slippers (unless it's pajama day...yes, yes, we have one of those..), like this CNN article even suggests. What I have seen are people. Hearts and Souls there to meet this person called Jesus. 

Some may not even know that yet, but as believers; we do.

What I have seen are women finding their way to worship from the House of Ruth, or the crippled man from the Rescue Mission, the Teen that hitched a ride because their parents were still wasted from the night before, and the child whose baby sitter brought her along because the sitter raved about how fun it was; all dressed in what I can't even remember, because it didn't matter....they were there. 

I've met smiling faces and faces so cold you wonder what could have happened for someone to carry that much of a hurt and burden on themselves....Faces that yet have found freedom in Christ. Have yet to feel the love poured out on them from their Heavenly Father...

And my sweet Ann Taylor, panty hose previous self, missed the boat on seeing the heart and fragile souls of God's people over the good ol' hurdle of southern etiquette' and pride.

When the words.."did you see what so and so was wearing?!?!" roll off your own or loved ones tongue or resonate in your heart...That was me.  My heart aches that I was so judgmental and over all unloving on this matter, and my children saw it....and I'm sure they weren't the only ones...because I had placed myself in a place of blindness, there is no such thing as being a "little" judgmental or a "little" unloving . After all, everyone looked like me before, and if they didn't, they weren't in my presence very long...how could they, why would they want too....I'm sure they didn't see Jesus in me.. and I'm sure they didn't feel unconditional love flowing from me....

I don't dress every Sunday as an excuse to to do less "work" in preparing myself and family to worship Jesus.... I dress every Sunday as an excuse for others to see Jesus in me. Because if we're being completely honest, I meet my creator in my nakedness. Scary huh- the outward clothes are for the man, Jesus sees us fully; and I'm pretty sure He's only concerned when we are not clothed in Colossians 3:12.

So whether you dress to the Nine's in flip flops or heels, does it really even matter as long as you don't forget to add the accessories of compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience to the attire; because regardless of what you think, that is what people really see you wearing. 

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