One of the most common responses I hear from people as an excuse to miss church is that they don’t have any nice clothes. Several years ago, I wrote an article for The Christian Standard entitled “A Challenge to Church Clothes.” My main point is that we don’t have to dress up to please God. He doesn’t care one single bit how I am dressed to go to church. I do believe modesty is desired but beyond that…. what does it matter if I wear jeans, a frilly, flowery dress or sweats? The response to that article was strong. I got letters telling me I didn’t deserve to worship if I couldn’t dress up and give my best to God each Sunday. Not. the. point. Anyway, without exploring the depths of this subject, I am making a statement. Here it comes… are you ready?
I, the preacher’s wife, am wearing jeans to church on Easter Sunday.
I don’t think the world will collapse. Easter celebrations will go on as planned. Delicious lunches will be consumed. Jesus will be worshiped. No matter what I wear.
Tomorrow is Easter. I will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection (even in my jeans). Very important day in my Christian faith. It’s not a fable. It’s not some fairy tale. It’s not a myth or tall tale. It really happened. Isn’t that almost impossible to believe? I mean, come on! If you go to church tomorrow somebody is going to get in front of you and tell you that a guy came back from the dead. In our worlds, our finite minds, with our life experiences, this sounds absurd. And it is. Really.
But Jesus isn’t limited by our world, our finite minds or our life experiences. And thank goodness for that! But I know of a lot of people who won’t go to church tomorrow. Not because they are bad people. Not because they don’t believe. In fact, most believe in God but they have a variety of reasons to stay home. They get to sleep late. They get to stay in their sweats all day. They get to spend the day with family. They get to rest. But the one excuse I don’t want to hear is “I don’t have nice enough clothes.” So I’m wearing jeans. If the preacher’s wife wears jeans, you can surely wear jeans without any judgment, right?
My challenge is this: try a church you feel comfortable in. Just try. Tomorrow. If you hear something that challenges you, makes you a better person, makes you feel something you thought you had lost touch with, wouldn’t it be worth it? You can still sleep late – most services don’t start until after 10 a.m. Wear anything you want. At our church (as with a lot of churches) you CAN stay in sweats all day. AND you can bring your family. And best of all, you’ll rest like you haven’t rested in years. There will be peace. Beyond understanding. Even if you wear jeans. With holes in them… it’s okay. We won’t judge.Tammy Lanham’s husband, Tommy, ministers at New Castle Christian Church in New Castle, Kentucky. http://www.NewCastleChristianChurch.com