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What Shall We Wear For Easter?

By Watchman | March 30, 2013

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature…  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

      Most of the larger department stores have been running TV spots for weeks, advertising their specials for Easter outfits.  I remember even back when I was a child, every girl wanted a new Easter dress, and most women bought something new to wear for the holiday, often including new gloves and fancy hats.  After all, who wanted to go to church and be seen in last year’s finery?  I’m not sure I ever questioned the spiritual validity of this until I became an adult although, because my family was not well-to-do, my sisters and I often didn’t get the whole new outfits, but had to be contented with the new white patent leather shoes, or some article of clothing that we really needed.  Although few women today still wear fancy hats as part of the general ensemble, and fewer still wear gloves, the desire to show up for church on Easter Sunday (often one of the only two days some people think to attend services) wearing something striking and new is still with us.  It has only been in the last ten years or so that I have begun to question for whom we are dressing.  I am in favor of dressing in the best of what we have when we go before the Lord.  I try to dress decently when I go to a friend’s house for dinner; I can do no less when I join in the Lord’s Supper, as a courtesy to Him.  But is our outward appearance what He is paying attention to when we come before Him?

     A quick hour of flipping through pages of Scripture convinces me that the Lord isn’t half as impressed with our fashion sense as we are.  Although I am quite certain that He does not object to our dressing nicely, there is no doubt in my mind that what He wishes to see on and in us has nothing to do with how much we are able to pay for our Sunday go-to-meetin’ clothes.  (By the way, I’m aware that I have several readers who don’t live in the US: for those of you who didn’t understand the significance of “go-to-meetin’ clothes”, it’s just a silly way of saying our best clothes!)  I’d like to share with you a few things that I found in the Bible concerning what we should wear.

     First, what Scripture says about the way women should dress is really a bit daunting.  Paul dampeningly  tells us in I Timothy 2:9-10, that women should “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”  That is, of course, his advice and not a decree from God, and although his point is well taken, may be a little harsh!  Peter also gives women advice on godly dressing, but his is a little softer:  “Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel–rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (I Peter 3:3-4)  Should there be any men reading this I’ve managed to not lose once they saw what this post was about, you may be thinking, “Gotta show this one to my wife!  Just like women!”  Well, this actually applies to you all as well!  I can remember many times being in a wealthy church where young men not dressed in suits and ties were looked at askance by men in the congregation.  Vanity is not a sin exclusive to women.

     Second, there’s no way to get around it:  God has often listened most quickly to the prayers of those who were seeking His favor and/or forgiveness while clad in sackcloth and ashes!  The Lord told the women of Israel in  Jeremiah 6:26 to mourn the nation’s fate in sackcloth and ashes.   Daniel, while seeking the Lord’s prophetic word for the Hebrew people in bondage during the first diaspora,  set his “face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes” and made confession to God.   Jonah took his message of God’s wrath to Ninevah and so touched the king that he covered himself with sackcloth and ashes and decreed that every man and beast do the same and repent of their evil.  Because he did, Ninevah was saved from destruction (Jonah 3: 5-10).  Although sackcloth and ashes are not a part of our 21st century experience or mindset, they do tend to show that God cares more for us coming before Him in repentance and humility than in fine clothes.

     Third, we are also given many examples of what the Lord wants to see us in.  There are many more than I am sharing today, but this may give you some idea of how the Lord likes us to dress!:

1.     Job 29:14:  I put on RIGHTEOUSNESS,  and it clothed me.

2.    Isaiah 52:1:  Put on your STRENGTH, O Zion.

3.     Isaiah 59: 17-18:  For He put on RIGHTEOUSNESS as a breastplate, and a HELMET OF SALVATION on His head…and was clad with ZEAL as a cloak. (I deliberately left out the garments of vengeance, because this belongs to God alone.)

4.     Isaiah 61:3:  (The Lord anointed the Messiah) to console those who mourn in Zion, …to give them…the GARMENT OF PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness.

5.     Romans 13: 12, 14:  …let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us PUT ON THE ARMOR OF LIGHT…PUT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST…

6.     I Corinthians 15: 53 (although this refers to a future event, this occurs to some extent when we are born again!):  For this corruptible must PUT ON INCORRUPTION, and this mortal must PUT ON IMMORTALITY.  

7.     Galatians 3:27:  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have PUT ON CHRIST.

8.     Ephesians 4: 24  …PUT ON THE NEW MAN WHICH WAS CREATED ACCORDING TO GOD, in true righteousness and holiness.

9.     Ephesians 6:11, 14-17:  PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…

10.    Colossians 3:14:  But above all these things PUT ON LOVE, which is the bond of perfection.

Wow!  Not one word about putting on suits, ties, lace, gauze, silk or pearls!  Humility, righteousness, holiness, love and obedience are the clothes that the Lord most wants to see on us!

Before I finish this out, I’d like to share a story that a friend sent me via e-mail some years back:

     An old man once went to worship in a beautiful church.  His clothes were clean and well ironed, but old and patched, and many people looked at him disgustedly as he worshiped.  After the service the pastor went up to him and shook his hand, then asked if he didn’t think the Lord would would have something to say about his coming to church in his old, patched clothing.  The old man didn’t know, so the pastor told him to go home and pray and seek the Lord over this.  The next Sunday the old man returned to worship.  His clothes were clean and well ironed, but old and patched, and he received many more distasteful looks from others  in the congregation.  After the service, the pastor again stopped him, and asked if he had not talked to the Lord about appropriate wear to the church.  The old man admitted that he had.

“And what did He tell you?” asked the pastor.

“Well, Preacher,” answered the old man, “He said He didn’t know what was appropriate here because He’s never been in this church.”

Happy Resurrection Day!


Topics: According to Scripture, Just A Thought, Kingdom Living, Special Seasons of Worship | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “What Shall We Wear For Easter?”

  1. Shirley Says:
    March 30th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I love this! I have acquaintances who still tell me, with some amount of pride: “I wear only the best to the Lord’s House.” Where is the Lord’s house? Are we not told in His Word WE are his temple? I’m sure I read that somewhere…could it be 2 Corinthians 6? In one translation The Word states:
    ” But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people”. Something about which to ponder, eh?

    I thank God for you, Watchman on The Wall.

  2. Susan Says:
    March 30th, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Me too! I love this too! You are right many more people today are much more concerned with what is on the outside instead of the inside, where it counts to the Lord our God.