(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
May 26, 2019
It doesn’t seem all that long ago that our wardrobe was divided up into categories like ‘school clothes’, ‘work clothes’, ‘play clothes’, ‘church clothes’, ‘fancy dress’ and ‘bedtime attire’.
In the 1950s and 1960s I wore wool pants and a narrow tie, with blazer to church. Why? These were my ‘church clothes’. All boys wore wool pants and a tie, even though those wool pants were itchy.
I have been reliably informed (Can guess who my source is?) that girls had it worse. Hats with tight elastic around your neck, tight shoes, lacy socks, dresses with petticoats and crinolines (often made of rough netting) and gloves!
There was a dress code for most places you went to, and sadly many families who could not afford it, did not play sports, or even go to church. (If they couldn’t meet the dress code, they did not feel welcome).
The discussion in the mid 1970’s in our church was about wearing jeans to worship. The tie and the jacket were no longer required, and women could wear pants if they liked (both men and women had already stopped wearing hats). Some people felt that when young people wore “blue-jeans” that they were “not respectful.” Yet this was what they wore every day. They worked, studied, prayed, worshipped, and lived while wearing their Levi’s, Wrangler’s or Lee’s. Our youth group coffee house outreach program was bringing youth into the church (jeans was all they had) and soon the congregation soon got used to it.
Over the decades, clothing has become more casual and more comfortable and the categories have gotten quite blurry. If someone asked me what they should wear to church I’d answer, “Clothes and no scented perfumes or products please.”
Jesus said only one thing about dress in all of the bible. In Matthew 6:26 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about… what you will wear. Is not… the body more than clothing?”
Our Sunday bulletin often says: “Whoever you are,
– wherever you are on your journey of life and faith,
– you are welcome here.”
Church is now, and always has been a place where we gather to worship Jesus Christ, support one another in prayer, and participate in mission to make this God given world a more fit place for all God’s children.
If there is a dress code, then what are we saying about God? That God cares more for the quality of your clothing than the quality of your character? Not many come in suits or fancy clothes anymore. Some wear hats in worship which is considered perfectly okay now (we see all sorts of baseball caps in fancy restaurants) and sometimes that hat is covering a skin or scalp condition or its part of the outfit, or part of the person’s expression. Hospitality and welcoming others (however they are dressed) is an expression of our love for God and God’s people.
Colossians 3:12-14 “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience… Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”