Our small group has just started studying C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters. In Letter 2, Screwtape urges Wormwood to keep his patient distracted by the people at church. Our conversation led to what constitutes appropriate church attire. Should men wear hats? Is it OK to wear jeans to church? We all agreed that women shouldn’t "show their goods” but we differed on what exactly should be worn when we meet together for worship. On one hand, some allege that dressing too fancy might make poorer people feel uncomfortable. Dressing down a bit alleviates this problem. On the other hand, people often compare going to church with visiting the queen. If you were going to visit HRH, wouldn’t you want to wear your finest? Wouldn’t that be a sign of respect? Therefore, when you go to “God’s house,” shouldn’t you do the same? It’s a common argument and seems oh-so-airtight.
After our discussion, I had to admit that, if I were invited to Buckingham Palace, I would step it up a notch. After all, protocol probably dictates how to behave in the queen's presence as well as what not to wear. Since I don’t know Queen Elizabeth nor am I related to her, I would probably wear my finest, which just might dictate a trip to the mall.
Then I remembered that iconic picture of little John Kennedy under his father’s desk in the Oval Office. Little John could come into the President’s office whenever he wanted because he was a son. I suspect that what he wore was of little importance to his powerful dad. His father was probably just glad he could be with his son.
Unlike little John, however, I am not the child of a U.S. president, but I am a daughter of the King of the Universe. The Bible says to call Him Father—Daddy, really. As a child of the King, I can come boldly into His throne room whether I am in my jeans or wearing my tiara. My Father is just glad we can be together.
For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7 NKJV)
GENEVA CHINNOCK is a writer and author of Becoming His Beloved: Journey into the Father’s Affection. Geneva has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and a Master in Business Administration. In her spare time, Geneva loves reading, eating bacon and attending live theater. She lives in Southern California with her husband and blogs about matters of faith at TreasuredbyGod.com.