Let us venture if you will – – back into the days where I spoke on a regular basis, to small and large groups of people regarding Christian faith. The demographics to most of these events would be 98% black folks, and the other 2% were people that definitely had the “fever”.
I would show up with the finest of tailored italian suits resting on the skin – and some animal (more often than not – ostrich) embraced my waist in the form of a belt with the shoes to match – I mean to put it plain….I looked like i was ready to tune-up in the key of A…and do my best Rance Allen runs whilst wiping the sweat from my forehead….then one day it happened – Mel and I went to the cleaners and when she came out I asked her a question that I had never asked before…”how much did all of those clothes cost to get cleaned?” ….”$180″ she replied with the typical Mel smile.
I WAS HEATED! – the first thing that came to mind was stewardship…I mean that $180 could’ve went to someone that needed some food to eat, or some clothes to wear….but noooo instead I’m wasting money to keep my clothes nice so I can look cute in front of a bunch of judgmental people…you may wonder why I called them that. Well… when I declared I was not going to where anymore suits to church, and I showed up to teach dressed way down – I received some of the most intense stares, and one person even had the nerve to come and tell me that they couldn’t pay attention to the message I spoke because I wasn’t looking like a preacher….hmmmmmm
Another interesting thing that happened is when I would visit other churches with our senior pastor…I was more often than not – treated in a very dismissive manner and sat off in some obscure corner of the church – BUT LET YA BOY COME THROUGH WITH THE CLEAN WINDOW PANE PRINT JOINT WITH THE RUST ACCENTS AND BRIEFCASE…now I get escorted to the front of the church and if someone recognized or asked if I were a pastor – then they would insist that I join them in the pulpit…nonsense
Now the reasons I just mentioned should be enough to get it right – and hit you right at home…but that’s not what sealed it for me. When I learned why black folks dress up more than anyone to go to church – i was taken.
The term is “Sunday’s Best” – in short…the slave masters would have competitions to see who could dress their slaves the best – and they would do this on Sunday’s…hence “Sunday’s Best”….nowadays you hear the excuse “we pay respect to God when we dress up to give him our best”. I would submit to whoever thinks like that, that you’re thinking of submitting the wrong “best”. Early church writings from Mathetes (interpreted as disciple) to Diognetes would suggest otherwise – in the writing there was an excerpt that described the manner of Christians – and one thing that stood out was that he mentioned that the believers did not dress different than others…the main characteristic of the first century believers was that they loved each other – and loved people by loving God more than anything.
We all need to work on being a little more plain – especially in the context of corporate worship.
*steps off of soapbox and continues to do hoodrat things with my hoodrat friends.