Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
Exodus 39:32-43 (NRSV)
In this way all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished; the Israelites had done everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses. Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; the covering of tanned rams’ skins and the covering of fine leather, and the curtain for the screen; the ark of the covenant with its poles and the mercy seat; the table with all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; the pure lampstand with its lamps set on it and all its utensils, and the oil for the light; the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance of the tent; the bronze altar, and its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin with its stand; the hangings of the court, its pillars, and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court, its cords, and its pegs; and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; the finely worked vestments for ministering in the holy place, the sacred vestments for the priest Aaron, and the vestments of his sons to serve as priests. The Israelites had done all of the work just as the LORD had commanded Moses. When Moses saw that they had done all the work just as the LORD had commanded, he blessed them.
Church people always know how to argue about appropriate dress for church and appropriate décor for the sanctuary. Sadly, I’m sure more than one church has split over carpet color choices or the removal of the choir’s “modesty rail.” Some people tell me they do not go to church because they do not have the “right clothes.” Do we think God wants people to remain outside the sanctuary because they don’t own a suit or a dress? Some want to wear their best for God on Sunday, while others feel phony dressing a different way from their normal attire. Some ministers want to wear scholarly robes to remind their flocks of their training while others want to wear simple linen robes to be an example of a servant leader. We may come to worship dressed in varying levels of formality, and we may sit in sanctuaries of varied décor, but if all of these things point to God, we are doing it right. If what we’re wearing reminds us to focus on God and we are surrounded by symbols that direct us to God, then we are able to worship. Our chief end is to glorify God forever; let’s humble ourselves and focus on that!
God, please forgive us when we judge other people by the clothes they wear to worship. Please forgive us when we negatively judge churches that don’t look like ours or when we have selfish pride in the physical aspects of our churches. We are diverse people who can worship you any place just as we are. Help us to remember always to bring you our best, and in all things, may we glorify you forever! Amen.
Go with God.