Picking out my outfit for worship, I decided the top was a leetle too much…the neckline cut away, and needed a strapless bra. And the necklace I’d been thinking of, Italian glass in brilliant colors, seemed more for evening than a sunny morning.
I went with something a little less fab.
As it is, I am one of the more dressily-dressed people in our sanctuary. The Austin, Texas bias toward casual is in full flower in my congregation. I dare say many pride themselves on it: “we’re not stuffy.” Which we aren’t–I’ve never heard such cheery backtalk from a congregation anywhere else. But I don’t feel stuffy in my dressy clothes.
I feel like celebrating.
Once I realized that clothes, in a way, are art–are theater–I began to enjoy playing with them. Color, pattern, style. Polished or rough. It’s ephemeral, the visual of a few hours, and easily forgotten. Why not experiment?
Granted, I have plenty of days when I’m not much for playing. And on those days, I appreciate those who leverage decision-free dressing, whether it’s identical suits and ties, or jeans and a Tshirt.
But back to worship. Worship in fancy clothes, clothes beyond the everyday.
When the girls were young, I had them dress up as well. Some of it was my pleasure in seeing them in those concoctions, but a larger portion was the rationale I said out loud in middle school, as they pushed back by telling me that Jesus doesn’t care what they look like. (True.)
Jesus may not care what you look like, but if you are delighted to come to spend special time with Him, wouldn’t you want to show it by wearing special clothes?
Sunday is my date-morning. I dress up Sundays beyond what I generally do for dates with My Sweetie…because he is on principle opposed to dressing up, and we seldom go dressy places. (See earlier comment on the ATX.)
I dress up because I am delighted. I dress up because I can.
I dress up because I want to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. (Westminster Shorter Catechism)
So the next time you see someone in worship with a hat, high heels, and a stunning dress,
sing “Praise God!” with all your voice alongside her. And maybe do a little dance. Even if you’re Presbyterian. Enjoy!