I grew up in the church, from the first Sunday mom and I got out of the hospital. (Well, one of my brothers who is 3+ years my senior, thought mom had gone down to the big Dairyland distribution centre not far from our house and picked me up from there!)
Anyways, we were taught to always wear our best clothes to church, and for us girls that always meant we had to wear a pretty dress. Slacks were not permissible for church attendance, although they were acceptable the rest of the week.
I did this while growing up and living under my parents' roof. Along with many other things, I did it without agreeing with them but out of what I thought was 'honoring thy father and thy mother'. It turns out it was really out of fear of disobeying my parents.
When I was older, I started to question the reasons why we had to dress up to go to church, and the only reason I recall getting was a bit of an analogy.....something like this.....
If the Queen was coming to town (because we are Canadian, the queen coming to town is a real possibility), we would certainly want to dress up and present ourselves respectfully before her. We wouldn't just wear our everyday clothes to see her."
(Everette heard the same story in his upbringing, too!)
Anyways, this analogy never made sense in my heart. I didn't know why, and I don't purport to know exactly why now, either. But I have a few thoughts.
The Queen is a sovereign. We don't have relationship with her other than the fact that we are her subjects. There is no friendship. We aren't related. We don't travel in the same circles, and even if we did there would always be protocol that would be required and distance kept.
God is sovereign, also. But we aren't His subjects. We are relatives; children of God. We are His sons and daughters, in relationship with Him. Nobody should be more comfortable with Him than His children. Yes, I know He is holy and pure, but He is love, and there is comfort in that love, not fear.
So, I don't get all dressed up before going to visit my parents. And I don't get dressed up before 'visiting' with God. I live with Him. I am in Jesus, and He is in me, and He is also in the Father, and it doesn't matter what I look like or anything....He sees me and loves me any how.
The Jews wear kippahs or yarmulkes on their heads, as reminders that they are in the presence of God. Maybe, if our outward appearance mattered, it would be wise for us to do like the Jews; recognizing that He is above us, and always in His presence. Many Jews wear them ALL the time, not just when they are in a tangible place of worship.
That makes more sense to me. If we needed to dress a particular way before going to see the sovereign, and God is the sovereign, then why wouldn't we be dressing that way all the time since He is everywhere and we are never separated from Him?
Question for You: Did you grow up in church with this same argument? How did you feel about it?