One of the questions that bubbled up in the Grace class today was, "Why do we wear our 'Sunday best' to worship services? It is done as a matter of respect? Do we communicate the message that one must have 'Sunday best' clothes in order to attend worship?"
Personally, I was out of college before I wore slacks to worship. That is not the case now, of course; I probably wear slacks more often to worship that a skirt or dress.
We used to have the rule with our kids that they could not wear jeans to church. We've dropped that requirement now -- the rule is now that jeans may not have holes and t-shirts may not have writing on them. With kids, I think their clothing influences their behavior -- at least with my kids!
I think I do wear nicer clothes to worship as a sign of respect, and (let's not kid ourselves) because it's the standard of clothes for the worship service I attend. Unfortunately, I think it does create an environment -- an expectation -- that to attend worship there is some kind of unspoken dress code.
The irony of the situation is that God does not offer us grace because of our 'Sunday best.' His grace is given not becuase of our best, but instead because of our worst. Our sins, our hatred, our bigotry, our judgmentalism -- our very worst that we offer is why we need grace.
Image: Snow on the way to Keyser from the car window (back in December)