I wonder how many of you get up on Sunday morning and ask yourself, “What am I going to wear to church?” Some of you may attend churches where the dress code is very relaxed. Some of you may attend very formal churches where anything less than business attire would be out of place. But did you know that the Bible actually tells us what to wear to church? Did you know the Bible actually has a dress code for Christians when they meet together to worship the living God? It’s true. In Colossians chapter 3 verse 12 the apostle Paul writes, “Put on then as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.” These five items are part of the dress code for every NT Christian.
Now, if you’re a parent who has tried to tell your kids to hurry up and get dressed for church you’ve probably been met with, “But who cares what I wear to church? Why does this even matter? Is it that big of a deal? Can’t I just go how I am?! Sadly, many professing Christians say the exact same thing about the clothes Paul tells them to wear. Do I really have to be kind?! I just don’t feel compassionate today! I can’t help not being patient! Who cares if I’m humble or meek as long as there’s good coffee and music? Is this your attitude to getting spiritually dressed for church? When you get to church is anyone wearing these clothes? Do you make any effort to consider other’s problems or do you just want the pastor to preach a sermon relevant to your own needs? Are you humbly thankful when Christ is praised or do you go home frustrated because no one paid attention to you?
Putting on this kind of clothing is very difficult. In fact, it’s impossible to wear these clothes unless one has first become a new creation in Jesus Christ. The clothes we’re most comfortable with by nature are pride, selfishness, anger and bitterness. But when someone loves Christ and has been raised from the dead with him they want to wear clothes that fit him and look good on him, not themselves. But when someone has died with Christ to their old life of sin and is no longer ruled by their own sinful desires they become joyful and excited to wear the same clothes that Christ wore when he was on earth. Because Jesus has been compassionate with them they desire to be compassionate with others. Because Jesus was meek and didn’t forcefully insist on getting his own way, they no longer try to manipulate and guilt-trip people into doing what they want. Instead, they gladly put on new clothing.
So, what will you wear to church today? Will you look intently into the mirror to decide if your clothing fits just right? Or will you look intently at the Lord Jesus Christ? And will you see his compassion and kindness towards a sinner like you and worship him properly with the right clothes?
By Pastor Allen Beardmore