Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship Part 2

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Dressing Up for Prom and dressing down for worship!

 

Part 2

 

 

Today many feel it is better to dress down for worship so everyone will be comfortable. They think that this will put everyone at ease? But if you are attending a Sweetheart Dance, Prom or Fashion Show or celebrating Valentine’s Day it’s proper etiquette to dress up. When Christmas or Resurrection Day/Easter rolls around you can dress up if you like as well.  You want to look nice for those pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny. However you still might get a few stares if you come to worship looking like you are wearing your tithes and offerings!
 

A little humor is always good! But we need to seriously take a look at just how blurred the lines are. I see the trend. But what or who do we give more honor to. God wants to be a part of every area of our lives!

 

Worship adoration, devotion and praise are important. We ought to worship and praise our Lord daily. Imagine if every believer really did. What a grand marvelous time we would have whenever we all got together! Sunday is important! CHRISTmas is important! Resurrection Day is important! Each day is important because it may be your last! Honoring God is important. Worship is a time for reflecting upon all that the Lord has done for us. Jesus Christ’s sinless life, crucifixion, death & resurrection are all very important.  

Every time we come to together it really is important to worship the Lord! You can do this sitting or standing. Quietly or in Forte` mode! There needs to be a balance. Sunday Worship really is the ultimate Red Carpet Affair! Jesus Christ shed HIS precious SINLESS BLOOD and atoned for the sins of the whole world! WOW! Without HIM becoming the Ultimate Holy Sacrifice; none of us would be able to enter into Heaven. There is cleansing POWER in the BLOOD! What is more important than that?

 

How important is it to dress for worship? Some are even subconsciously encouraged to dress down thinking this means that they will have more money to give for the offering? God can and will supply All that is needed. The CHURCH needs to trust GOD more…

 

Whatever happened to proper etiquette or being well groomed? Just because? We have thrown it out the window and replaced it with “dress down.” It is the new way to express you. To show that you are humble? Or is it just plain laziness? Or is it conforming to the world’s standards? Here is the dilemma it is hard to tell sometimes where am I?  Am I in worship or am I on a cruise or at the park? No I do not have Alzheimer’s; if I did it wouldn’t matter!

 

God truly is the Great “I AM!” God is The Most High God above Him is no other. Worship is about us recognizing Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! When you leave worship you should leave knowing more about HIM & HIS WORD!  The Word teaches us; “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what GOD’S WILL IS – HIS GOOD, pleasing and PERFECT WILL.” Romans 12. So why have we; God’s Church begun to conform to the dress standards of the world?

 

When we dress up we look like we are material right? Well clothes are made out of material. Just because you have on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt does not mean that you are any less material!  Have you seen the price of some of these jeans and tennis shoes & T shirts? It does not matter how much you did or did not pay for it. You can be quite material and have nothing…

You have the freedom to dress however it is you want, when and where you go. My question is what is your priority? We must really begin to think on a much deeper level.

 

Did you know that children behave better when they are dressed? Taking the time to dress them tells them you care. If it is just in a T shirt let it be neat and tidy.  At the park let them at least go in clean if they come out dirty fine… When my children were young I took them everywhere I went. I made sure that they were well fed, well dressed, loved and well attended. We as a family attended Worship during the week and on most Sunday’s all day long, all year long. They were well behaved, polite and respectful. They had plenty opportunity to run and play in the back yard freely once they got home and put on their play clothes. Children actually feel better about themselves when they know you give them TLC as well!  Even they know innately that when you are in certain attire you need to stop fooling around and pay more attention. There is a time and place for everything.

 

I know when you are dressed up it means that you are too cute to worship? However that only applies to certain people. Lord Help us! Absolutely Not!

 

Notice how the Royal family in England is always fit for the occasion. Even when they dress down  they properly present themselves. Unless you catch them under the privacy of their own residences under a camera you will not see them dressed scantly or inappropriately. In their private residences they should have the freedom and privacy to walk around as they please even if it’s nude. How would anyone know unless they infringed upon their privacy rights. Remember Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. (Once they sinned God made them coats of fur skins…) The point is there is a proper time to dress or undress. Modesty is good. We can learn a thing or two from them. Well, guess what nothing or no one is more important than GOD! Through Jesus Christ we are a part of The Most High God’s Royal Family!

 

It is hard for me to believe that Solomon via God’s instructions built that first magnificent Temple for seven long years;  then said dress down or wear your sweats. Or your most comfortable clothes. Notice how detailed the temple and its contents are described in the Word. I do not think in its entire splendor that the people came dressed like “ragamuffins” when they came to worship!

 

We have missed the point!

 

When slavery was prominent in America the slaves even knew that on Sunday or during worship that they dressed up and presented themselves in proper attire. It was a time to leave the tasks and hardships of slavery, lay them aside momentarily and focus on worshipping the Lord! They honored the Lord above their slave master, pastor and everything else. Even if they did not have shoes they took the time to clean up well and present themselves in their best attire!   The African American/Colored worship services in general continues to encourage dressing up to a degree in your better attire. Some of the long standing traditional congregations throughout the world also elect to make a conscious effort to present themselves to the Lord in a certain manner. Some opt to dress down in the warmer months; however I believe that one should still dress no less than they do for any special occasion, work or school. Despite how others chose to present themselves my mother was keen on proper etiquette. As people of color I was taught to recognize that as a lady it’s important to present yourself in proper dress attire wherever you are!

I realize that we differ as to what is perceived as to what or whom is proper. For many this will change as to what is going on in or about worship on a particular day. Or until someone decides we need to do something different just because? Think about it? Was this true (200) two hundred years ago?

Always remember that God’s Church is the people not the building. His Church is a collective body of all colors and cultures all over the world. We who have accepted Christ Jesus into our hearts as Savior & Lord are His True Church. We are to daily seek His Will & His Way and embrace and live out the principles of His Word. What is most important that we represent Him in a way that is pleasing in his sight wherever we are.

 

 

Revelation gives us an excellent visual of the “New Jerusalem”   the Holy City in Heaven. It is fabulously splendid. It is absolutely Awesome, so much so that the streets are paved with translucent gold. The walls are made of fine gemstones of sapphire, emeralds, sardonyx, chalcedony, jasper and…   The twelve gates are made of a fine single humongous pearl! WOW!   Think about it! Hmm just does not seem to me that throwing on a wrinkled T shirt and a pair of old baggy jeans, skirt or leggings would be appropriate!   No wonder why the ambiance in worship has drastically changed right along with the dress code! However, there is an unspoken code. It means if you are in the in crowd you can pretty much as you please and no one will take offense.   Many do not respect the sacredness of worship anymore.

 

They are now trying to pass laws so that it’s okay if you have a gun license you can come to worship packing a gun! This further shows that you can prepare to expect just about anything. Just maybe this is also why we are having all these random shootings everywhere. Nothing is sacred to anyone!

 

Foreign countries uphold a better standard for worship than we do here in the United States. For example when we visited Vatican City in Rome we were told that in order to enter St. Peter’s Basilica the women needed to be covered properly and would not be able to enter unless they were properly attired! They maintain a standard that one must at least be presentable.  After all is not the Church the Bride of Christ! Ponder and think about that for a moment! Would you dress up if you were meeting the President?

 

Ponder this for a moment. You are welcome to disagree. I know it’s because I am a child of the 50’s! Everyone wore a tie and dressed up for most occasions way back when. No, it’s because there is nothing, no occasion, dance or prom or no one more important than God! Therefore we need to put our best self forward.   God knows us all from the inside out! We are not fooling Him. At least we can honor Him in how we present ourselves for worship!   There is always an exception to the rule.   If you are homeless that’s different,   if you are mentally ill that’s different, if you really do not have anything to wear that’s   different too.

 

“Come as you are!” Yes, but you will not “Stay as you are!”  The Word of God transforms us from the inside out. At some point you will begin to feel better about yourself and want to step it up a bit! Why is that? Believers are supposed to live each day as though the Lord was going to return. If Heaven is going to be your Eternal Home I suggest you begin here on earth getting prepared for Kingdom living!  Even if you still decide to wear jeans and a T shirt, let be done neatly! & Please no matter what size you are; No really tight dresses, No low cut dresses or blouses and sweaters. And please definitely NO sagging pants. These are not appropriate. Think for a moment; Above all make sure that you would be comfortable in whatever you decide to wear expecting that our Lord was going to be there. Or come at anytime!

 

“Your will be done Lord! Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.” Lord we are down here waiting on your return when everyone will see  you breaking through the sky!  Come Lord!

 

 

 

 

 

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Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship Part 1

Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship!  Bride

 

 

Part 1

This 21st century is becoming progressively more interesting in a very bizarre manner. We are living in a time when just about anything goes! We can go almost anywhere and expect to see some of everything. You can see multiple piercings on the ears, lips, forehead, eyebrows, cheeks, neck, and head or just about anywhere on the body. Let’s not even discuss the places that we don’t see.

Oh my! It makes you wonder why so many want to inflict themselves with so much pain…

You can see glitter glam clothes or faces. Pink, royal blue, purple, burgundy, yellow and even green bold hair colors on both male and females. It has become acceptable for many to even walk around with their pants sagging below the buttocks! You can go to the shopping mall and see many clad in pajamas and slippers and guess what they are just out shopping; so what does it matter? The old shorter than short “Daisy Duke” shorts are even trying to make their way to the forefront. WOW!

I know everyone wants to be comfortable or they just want to as the ole song says “Express Yourself!” So it has become socially tolerable to just dress down whenever or wherever. After all we are not hurting anyone.

But what does this all say? No matter why our youth are so confused. Too many mixed messages.

Think about this for a moment or two!

Who gets the right to determine what is right? If so what are the guidelines?

What is the most important event or occasion that you will attend? Is it a wedding, red carpet affair, birthday party, concert, funeral, job interview or perhaps a prom? How do you dress for the occasion? If it is a wedding, you probably want to wear your best? Or maybe not? Why is that; because it has become acceptable to dress just any kind of way; right?

Well, what about going to worship? You should just “come as you are.” If you have not been a part of God’s Church it is understandable. But if you have been a part of the Church for a while you might want to ask yourself; to whom or where do you present your best other than at worship?

Did you know that the Church is the Bride of Christ? We the people are His Church. The Church has begun to blend right in with the world.

It is becoming harder and harder to distinguish the difference unless it is a special occasion. But should not every time we come together be a special occasion?

It’s okay if you wear a suit and tie or business casual pantsuit, dress or blouse and slacks to the office if you are a manager or a CEO or CIO! But if I want to wear flip flops and cut offs it should not matter especially since I still get my work done. I just want to be comfortable and I don’t want to wait until casual Friday. What happened to the basic dress code? It really does matter how you present yourself!

Hmm I guess God is not interested in how we dress? “Therefore, I urge you, brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12. What does this have to do with how I am dressed? A lot! It’s clear here that we are not supposed to conform to the ways of the world. Notice how The Church has begun to pattern its dress after the standards of the world. This has even filtered over into going to worship! I guess we should really just want to hang out and sip a cup of coffee, eat doughnuts and be comfortable here too?

Perhaps this is why so many more are comfortable in sinful lifestyles. God is Love! Therefore we need to have more compassion right? What is so interesting during our travels we have been in countries where they would not let certain people come in the Sanctuary if you did not have on proper attire. There was an attendant at the door to determine if you were presentable. There compassion was because of their respect for the Lord they had a standard.

There is nothing wrong with freedom of expression. But what is proper and improper and who determines when or where? Does it matter that I go to worship looking like I’m on my way to the beach? Or if I look like I just woke up and threw on my most comfortable outfit? Or perhaps I was going to mow the lawn and decided to come to worship first. Or just perhaps I am going bowling after service and don’t want to make a change? It’s okay to wear a suit and tie or robe sometimes if you are a pastor, minister, priest, elder or part of the praise team. Well maybe not because since its “March Madness” everyone can just come in their football jersey’s representing their favorite team. By the way ladies it’s okay to just pull on a pair of leggings because the jersey’s are as long as some of the dresses and tops you wear? It does not really matter how tight your dress is if you are small, medium or large. Oh my! I have just stepped on some toes! What’s wrong with wearing jerseys? Hmmm tell me when did going to worship have anything to do with your favorite football or basketball team? I am all for team JESUS!!!  But  do not penalize me because I do not wear jerseys or T-shirts! Hmmm what happens if I show up in causal dress when everyone else is dressed up for a special occassion or program? Be prepared to get frowns from the what you should be wearing today committee. Well I’m not looking for approval. Therefore I am going to dress depending on what season it is and what’s the weather like. I know I am just too ole fashion or just plain judgmental? Maybe so!

Worship is supposed to be about GOD! Worship is supposed to be about us being thankful and grateful that JESUS died on the cross for us! He overcame sin in the flesh, lived a sinless life, died, was buried and rose from the dead with all power and authority! We are to give Him the GLORY! What is so casual about that?

It’s okay to pray at the altar and ask for healing, restoration and or some of our physical, emotional, mental or material needs. Its okay to  sit in  your  seat  if you  prefer. It is okay to shout, scream, laugh, run around or do whatever? But please make sure you are sincere. The Lord deserves our respect. It is the posture of our hearts that GOD is looking at… GOD can and will supply in HIS time whatever is in HIS Will for us! But worship really should not be about us asking Him for something all the time. When you leave you should know more about the Lord and His Word! Worship should be more about GOD and us thanking HIM. Worship is actually devotional time set aside to praise and adore the Lord; for all that He has done, is doing and will do!

Now how should we present ourselves? Look to the Lord and let Him direct you and not to the masses. I know we ought to be comfortable. We want to make everyone else comfortable too. We don’t want anyone to feel like they are being judged or unworthy, or that we are looking down on them? The truth is we all are unworthy. Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross for us all and at least we should make and attempt to put our best foot forward!

His Blood has priceless cleansing POWER!

What if Jesus returned today? Would you want to run home and change?

What if I do not have anything to wear? Well what did you wear to that dance you went to, or to that wedding, or the ballet, or that sorority or fraternity dinner, to that job interview or to the prom or any other dress up event? Right; that’s different. Think about this for a moment. But you want to “dress down” when you come to worship God!

Check it out

The Old Testament gives us a vivid description of the Temple and the clothing that the priest were adorned in. It is clear that they put their best foot forward. Many went through purification rituals in order to prepare for worship. Leviticus has a plethora of laws and regulations that had to be adhered to prior to worship. There has been a gradual shifting down of the dress code as well as the moral behavior… No wonder sin is abounding and “anything goes!” Just perhaps all this dressing down has put the Church in such a relaxed mode that it’s made many feel that there is no need to change because we are to just “come as you are!” Yes indeed come as you are! But we are not to stay as you are! God is all about transforming our lives from the inside out!

See Part 2

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