Sunday, April 13, 2008

A rare run of busy "up front" days

A FUNERAL, A WEDDING & A WORSHIP SERVICE. It's rare that I don a suit with tie. Rarer, still, I do so three days in a row. But so it has been since Friday. Friday, it was for the funeral of a 92-year old saint of our church. Saturday, it was for a wedding I officiated in our sanctuary. Today, though I usually do not wear a suit for morning worship or preaching, I did so for a special request.

CLERGY UNIFORM? I suppose I could go on dressing as a business person, but that is not what I am nor what I believe I am to represent. As I conceive of it, a pastor is not a member of the "business community." If so, we forfeit a solidarity with the poor and disenfranchised to which we are called. Nor is a pastor a mere reflector of what I call the casual "Dockers culture." I suppose there is no uniform for clergy. Sometimes it seems beneficial to go incognito. Other times it seems critical to appear as official as possible.

CLOTHED WITH CHRIST. Dress and style are nothing--nothing--in comparison to the constant beckon to reflect as authentically as possible the Spirit of Jesus. The Apostle Paul writes, "clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12). Whatever the outward dress, let us clothe our heart, our mind, our spirit with the likeness of Jesus.

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