Easter Sunday, just like the Sunday before Christmas, has some of the nicest-dressed people. Shirts and ties, sundresses and sweaters, and even the occasional three-piece suit generally fill the sanctuary seats (or in my case this morning, bleachers) and give the guy in jeans and a t-shirt with a baseball hat (me) the impression that he’s a little underdressed. It’s like there was a memo sent to everyone that he didn’t get.
It used to kind of bug me a few years ago. It seemed to me that by dressing up really nicely, in our Sunday best, we were trying to make people think that God values our looks. I felt really bad for the people who didn’t have the money to afford the fancy clothes or anything more than jeans, t-shirts, and hoodies. I wondered how they must have felt amongst all the starched collars and perfumed fabric.
God does care about how we look, though. He does care that we aren’t walking around half – or even completely – naked. And, because it usually matters to our neighbors (especially roommates and spouses), He does care about our personal hygiene and hopes we’re taking showers every now and then. But whether we’re wearing the best-looking clothes or not, I don’t think it matters all that much.
Instead I think God cares about a different appearance. I think God cares more about our spiritual attire and what kind of character we reflect. To Him, it doesn’t matter what you wear, but rather Who you wear.
When Jesus left this world, when He died, He did so naked. “And they cast lots to divide his clothing,” Luke 23:34b. If He had entered the tomb naked, then I’d have to believe that He also left naked. And if He didn’t need clothes to conquer death, why should we care so much about what we wear on Easter Sunday – or any Sunday for that matter?
Please don’t take this too literally; it’s important that we all show up with clothes on every Sunday. Also, I understand the tradition of dressing nicely on the days we celebrate. But when our lives are considered in their entirety, when we evaluate all that we’ve done in this world, I’d have to think God would rather have us dressed in righteous attire – clothes that reflect who He is.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law,” – Galatians 5:22-23
Those are the sorts of things we ought to wear. According to Jesus, it’s how people know we’re His disciples (John 13:35).
I’m not saying it’s a sin to wear your best clothes; I golfed for several years – it’s fun to dress up once in a while. But when we do dress nicely, I think we should make sure we aren’t indirectly belittling our neighbor who can’t afford the fine clothing, or that we aren’t trying to be noticed by everyone, or that we aren’t wanting people to think we’re successful because we wear expensive clothes. After all, God defines success as quality of character; not quality of clothing.
A random post for Easter Sunday, I know. But I think it’s something that doesn’t get talked about all too often. I think a lot of people just assume that’s what you’re supposed to do when you go to church, but when you read Scripture – especially the red letters (Matthew 6:28-30) – you get the opposite message. Easter is about celebrating what Christ has done for us with our families (both biological and spiritual). It’s not about us being noticed by others, but rather others noticing Christ in us.
Happy Easter and God bless!
Inspiration behind this post: