“Jesus carried his own cross up a mountain. The least we can do is put on a pair of slacks.” I ran across the above gem of a comment on facebook recently and I have to admit it is one of the more amusing things I have read lately. Just to be clear, it wasn’t the image of Jesus that made me laugh out loud, it was the word, “slacks.” It is just one of those words that sounds funny. And, it reminds me of my grandmother’s polyester pant suits.
Just a few days later, we had family in from out of town. This entailed a lot of cousins sleeping on the floor and shuttling from house to house. On Saturday night, we were faced with complicated minivan math that left us with a choice: leave one set of cousins at home while the others went to the pool the next day OR bring the cousins with us overnight and get everyone to the pool the next day. Of course we wanted everyone to go to the pool. Just one problem, the guests had no overnight clothes. So, yeah, we went with bring the cousins with us and scrounge around for extra toothbrushes.
In the car my kids asked if they “had” to go to church the next day. My response was, “no,” but that we would be happy to bring anyone who wanted to go. One niece remarked that she “didn’t get to church much” and another said their family was still looking for a church in their new town. Together in the back seat of the van they decided they would like to go to church together. They missed it and they wanted a rare chance to worship together as an extended family. The only problem: clothes. All they had were t-shirts and shorts worn to the beach. My response: “no problem. Wear what you have.”
As usual I went to church to set up a couple hours before the service. Since they are tween/teens I wasn’t very confident in their ability to wake up and get ready on time. But, mid-prelude, I looked up from my seat and saw them filing into our usual pew- – the whole beautiful lot of cousins, wearing rumpled t-shirts and borrowed shorts and messy pig tails. And, wouldn’t you know it, the scripture reading for Sunday school was about how we Christians should clothe ourselves. From Colossians 3:12 “holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” I saw a lot of all those things worn by our beautiful teens and tweens on that Sunday.
As I expected, the causal dress did not elicit a single comment from anyone in our congregation. I am blessed to work in a church that is pretty cool like that. The experience of overhearing the girls wanting to worship together, seeing them cooperate to include everyone and make it there on time is one I will treasure for a long time to come. I’ll take that over a pair of slacks any day.