“Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: holy to the Lord. Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron’s forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the Lord.”
It has become the fashion in some quarters to relax former worship observances concerning Sunday attire. For example, when I was a boy, my mother decked me out for church in a suit—usually a wool suit—that was complemented by a clip-on bow tie, a long sleeve shirt with cufflinks, a belt, or else suspenders to hike up my trousers, white socks, and black polished Buster Brown shoes. My skin was spic and span, my hair was brushed, and my mother was proud: I looked my Sunday best.
Today, I dress for Church more informally. I don’t own a set of cufflinks, nor do I care to. Casual is “in” and like Dobie Gray sang, “I’m in with the in-crowd.”
Poor Aaron. He wasn’t in with the in-crowd at all. As Israel’s first high priest, he wore the ceremonial garb prescribed for the performance of his official duties inside the Holy Place. And not just Aaron; his sons had special outfits, too—like his own, hand-picked by God, their Sunday best.
Why all this fuss about clothes? Does it matter what we wear when we present ourselves to God? Can a turban denote holiness? Are gold cufflinks convictions? Where Sunday dress is casual must Christian witness therefore follow suit? You may see it one way, me another.
In his letter to the church, St. Peter said: “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” –1 Peter 5:5 Think about those words and tremble.
We cannot agree on anything. The bride tears her wedding gown in two. There will be no marriage. She is adamant. She would rather go naked than wear sackcloth. My heart breaks. My mother looks at me and smiles. “It is the Church,” she explains. “Be on your best behavior.” My little children, in these contentious times, let us love one another. Humility might just be our Sunday best.