Years ago, at LPC there was a teen girl who volunteered to be an usher. However, when she showed up in jeans she was turned down. Her mother commented to me that we should all be glad that she attended and wanted to serve. Similarly, when I was Deacon moderator years ago, someone complained to me that one of the Deacons was drinking coffee during the service. Since that woman had just worked an all-night shift, I was just glad she was there. Thinking about those, I am reminded of a story I heard some time ago:
After the service had already started, a new convert came bee-bopping in in dirty, flamboyant clothes and sat down on the floor at the foot of the chancel. Seeing this, an usher in a three-piece suit headed down the aisle toward him. Everyone froze waiting to see what would happen next. The usher got to the front and sat down on the floor next to the man. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The usher really understood God’s heart.
Now, people come in shorts, drink their coffee and generally make themselves comfortable. Yet these are the same people who clap with the music and raise their hands in the air in worship and say amen on occasion.
When I was a kid, my dad insisted that we dress up for church. School clothes were not good enough. We had dress up clothes and that was what we wore. I think he wanted to emphasize that God deserved our very best and see that perspective. I still dress for Sundays but I have a different policy. If people want to come in flip-flops, let them come. They are welcome in God’s house.
James 2:2-4 “My brothers and sisters, believers in our Glorious Lord Jesus must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet.’ Have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”
Although people may have different perspectives on what to wear, we should all have the same perspective on simply wanting people to be loved and to come to Jesus.