Monday, December 3, 2012
Dressing Up for Worship
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!