(Sorry that it has been so long since my last post. I took to summer off to work on other projects--namely my children and a failed garden.)
I must admit that this summer’s weather has definitely caused The Old Knock to lower his own standards in dress for most occasions. (Not that Old Knocks in general are known for fine dressing.) However, there is one occasion in which I have done my best to stand firm: the Church Service. We find ourselves in a time when Churches are attempting to be as welcoming and comfortable as possible—an idea which I whole-heartedly support. I feel that, for too long, the doors of the Church have appeared shut to too many people who did not fit a certain type. However, there is something to be said about dressing a bit more formally on Sunday.
Growing up, I was taught that it was important to look one’s best for Services, because it showed respect to our Lord. I think this is a fine explanation—although it may cause an immature believer to feel that one must “dress up” in order to be acceptable to the Lord, which is never the case. It is merely showing Him that these ceremonies are important enough to us to be sure we are turned out well.
But there is another issue that I think supports a more formal attire for Church services. When I put on a collared shirt, coat and tie, I am, to be honest, less comfortable. A tie is not a comfortable thing—make no mistake. I am not likely to take a nap in my jacket and buttoned-up shirt. Wearing these things forces my body—and mind—to focus. After all, we are “spiritual animals.” What affects the body affects the mind. (Which is why we have always been taught to get a good night’s sleep and eat breakfast before attending a service. Why, after-all, do many Churches today offer coffee before entering a service?)
Now, dear reader, please do not mistake me—our Lord will accept us whether we are wearing a three-piece suit or flip-flops. Our attire does nothing to make us more pleasing to Him. However, I feel that it does influence the way we feel and, thus, impacts our preparedness to worship. Think about it.