339 – What should I wear to church?
#faithbites #faithjourney church
Before we get started, some days I have an idea for a #faithbite and then something else changes it. Today is unique in that the idea I had was supported by another message later in the morning. God is pretty awesome. And now, onto Faithbites.
Sunday morning is sometimes hectic at my house. Getting the kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door for church. A big debate is what are they going to wear. My children seem to care more about it than I do, but it’s still a struggle. Pants and a top? A sparkly dress? A paw patrol costume? Whatever.to me God wants us in his house no matter what we are wearing.
In an African facebook group, I am part of, there was a discussion about dress and this debate was brought up:
A gay man dressed like a woman, went to Church and the Pastor asked him to leave. In your opinion, was it right what the Pastor did?
The post exploded with many saying the pastor was right as the man wasn’t decent and shouldn’t be in the house of God dressed like that. Others said the pastor was absolutely wrong as Jesus came not for the righteous but for the sinners. Scripture was brought up about decency as well as about loving God and loving people. For me, I wonder if they tried to understand the man would they be able to love him more and welcome him with open arms.
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ 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?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. – James 2:1-9
Last night, we had the neighbor’s children over for a bit to help out. As it was sundown, I asked their father if it was ok for me to show them the menorah, explain Hannukah to them, and light the candles. They were respectful, asked questions, and helped light the menorah. This morning when I dropped my eldest off a school, I talked to the principal about it. He said we need to understand each other to love one another.
Keep in mind, we don’t have to accept everything someone does to understand them or to love them. I seek to understand everyone as best I can to be more able to love them in the way they need. The man in the story above, in my opinion, shouldn’t have been turned away from God. We all sin and fall short of expectations. But God came to the sinners. He wants us to love and to brought to his word. If we take away anyone’s ability to know Jesus, how can they believe? How can they have faith? We should be open in our love, steadfast in our faith, and welcoming all to his table.
I am ignorant of the cultural norms of Africa and realize that religion isn’t practiced in a vacuum. I also know in our country, there is a discrepancy about how we worship and live. For me, I try to turn to his word and know that he is for all us as sinners.
When you look at someone different, do you judge them? Would you stop someone from hearing about the word because of who or what they are? While you may not actively try to deny them the word of God, by your actions, you may be doing that. Welcome, all who come to learn and worship.
Lord, help me in my judgments of people. Let me understand them so I may love them. Give me the strength to overcome any biases that would prevent me from sharing your word.