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Should we dress up to go to church? Hmmm. I have dressed up and dressed down for church. I visited my son who lives in the Seattle Washington area and thought I was dressed down; but, when I got to church I found that I was dressed up. God wants our hearts not our clothes. However I do think we need to be aware of our personal hygiene in church so as not to distract others from the message; come to think of it, when we are in any place where there is a crowd, we should be sure we do not offend by our lack of hygiene. We must remember to emit the fragrance of Christ and not be an odor of the world, literarily and figuratively.

What is the appropriate dress for church? Having clothes on, being appropriately clothed so as not to cause a distraction. And women should be sure they do not wear clothing that is sexually provocative. Men are visual beings (God made them that way), and can be easily distracted by our choice of clothing or lack there of.

Upon visiting churches, I have found that churches that have many members that are poor and unskilled will dress up; and churches that are middle to upper middle class with high skills tend to dress down, at least in New York City and the outskirts of Seattle.

Exodus 21:22-23:13

Today’s Old Testament passages give “flesh” to Commandments five through ten, with a dash of skin to numbers one through four. Responsibility and accountability are found in these chapter and verses, responsibility to God and man, and accountability for actions that violate men and the community’s relationship to each other and God. I don’t know why I never saw this previously I just saw a bunch of rules and regulations to follow but this is all about right living in the midst of community and right actions toward God, who created us and thus the One who wrote the How-To-Manual

And if men fight and hit a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, but there is no serious injury, he will surely be punished in accordance with what the woman's husband will put on him, and he will pay what the court decides. But if there is serious injury, then you will give a life for a life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. (Exodus 21:22-25 NET.)

When things like the above happen, people fighting or even rough housing where there are people around going about their daily business, when someone is hurt or injured, the people involved usually try to “excuse” their way out of it. “He/She made me so mad I couldn’t help myself, You just don’t know what they did to me.” The word “Sorry” is bantered about as if just the sound of that word justifies everything. God says, “No, you are not excused by use of the word, “Sorry.”. You must restore to its original state.” In fact, the Hebrew word, shâlam, where shâlôm, the word peace is derived from, implies restoration. Come to think of it, isn’t that what God will do when He ushers in the “New Jerusalem,” bring everything back to the “In the Beginning” state?

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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