Monday, December 3, 2012

Dressing Up for Worship

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



    I participated in an ordination a few months ago for one of the most confessional (interpret that both ways), competent, caring, and truly connectional in a John 17 kinda way undershepherds.

    As a I sat next to another participating undershepherd who is especially confessional (interpret that both ways), competent, caring, and truly connectional in a John 17 kinda way, I whispered, "I feel kinda stupid dressing up in all of this stuff."

    He whispered back, "Yeah, it is kinda silly."

    What is the definition of insanity?

    Anyway, too often when clergy dress up for worship - whether they're Genevans dating back to the 16th century or Brooks Brothers medieval gravy rags on steroids - it kinda looks like the masquerade scene in The Phantom of the Opera.

    It's worth asking again: "Do today's clergy too often dress up more like Jesus or Pharisees?"

    Again: "Did Jesus dress up like Pharisees or dress down like, uh, normal people?"

    Again: "Considering attire as often symbolic of something much deeper, do too many of today's clergy look like they're following the lead of Jesus or...?"



    Take a deep breath.

    Read Matthew 6 (all of it).

    Read Matthew 15 (all of it).

    Read Matthew 23 (all of it).

    Representative texts of contextual verities that cannot be denied.

    Take a deep breath.


    Of course, I'm more hypocritical than most - check out the Greek roots of hypocrisy for some fun with the aforementioned - though the difference between me and some is I know and herald my hypocrisies.

    So I haven't shed all of the stupidities and silliness and sins of...

    I'm a WIP - just scratching the surface of my relationship with Him.

    So I've still got the Genevan with the stripes that don't heal that Grandpa Hayden gave to me when I started separating myself from God and people by degrees.

    I've still got a few clericals for weddings (pictures) and funerals (posing proprieties).

    I keep four stoles: a green one that I got when I was ordained, a purple one from a former associate pastor who now hates me for Christ's sake in a deeply ambivalent kinda way, another purple one that belonged to Paul and was given to me by his wife after he fell off a mountain in Colorado back in 1994, and one with the smiling faces of children of all colors that Rosalie gave to me which you really need to read about in Fifteen Secrets for Life and Ministry - seriously - by calling 815-544-6402 or just ordering copies from this site.

    I'm still holding on to some old...

    Again, I'm still one of ya even though I'm really, really, really praying/laboring to be one of His.


    I've often heard but only recently paid attention to this counsel: "Every step toward God is blessed by Him...even the smallest."

    Of course, it means, uh, changing directions.


    There are better ways to dress up for Him.


    I think I remember Jesus saying something about a better way...



Blessings and Love!


C said...

Bob, anyone who has seen Jesus in movies KNOWS he wore a white robe, except for the nice light brown and white number he wore inm Johnny Cash's "Gospel Road." No one else in any of the movies I've seen even attempts to keep such a light colored robe clean.

To even attempt this so many years before Procter & Gamble's Tide might have been the greatest miracle.

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

And Jesus used Welches for the inaugural...

Dan G said...

This topic irks me .... Costumes are appropriate for the event. I suppose you'd like a cop to show up wearing jeans and a baseball cap .... or for everyone to be equally grunge because some people have a problem with suits .... or naked on the beach so perverts coud get their thrills ...

Honestly, this is such a contrived issue.

One annual sermon on "why the robe" with its OT roots intact would make the point. Yeah, we ain't Jews anymore ... and we are all priesthood of the saints ... but SOMEBODY has to be the boss-of-the-house for the day.

When dressing for church, I get the same old retrograde urges to downplay the moment, to excuse laziness for "God knows my heart, not my wardrobe", to blame it on "not wanting to make a show." But, truly, these are pitiful excuses for failing to celebrate the moment inwardly and outwardly ... to rise UP to the occasion instead of giving in to the zeitgeist of our day to demean the gathering of the saints by making it comparable to dressing for a beach party.

If you were meeting the President (other than Obama) at the White House, how would you dress? How much more significant is the King of Kings at his tabernacle?

Don't apologize for your calling ... help people to understand it.

Merry Christmas.

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

Interesting points, my brother; and while I cannot get beyond the contextual texts, my hypocrisies on the subject are obvious as noted at the bottom. :(

Ella Jane said...

Quietly reflecting on the passage of scripture I was reading this morning in John 4:24. The words of our Lord...they that will worship the Father must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Tim B. said...

when you preach in culottes and a tube top, I'm leaving!

Becky said...

Ok I always read your Kopp disclosures but this time I saw the heading and got nervous because I attended your church yesterday and got to hear you in person. I have to say I thought your disclosures were person much more powerful. I don't know if you remember me.... I helped out Sara W. when she was ill. It was a pleasure to hear you preach.

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

only reason I bother with my open Geneva is because I bought it in Edinburgh and the vanity in me exictes the Scottish blood (the only truly authentic Presbyterians I believe) -- plus, I don't wear it for them or Jesus -- I need the help in being reminded what I'm supposed to be doing....

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

God knows I relate, brother!