When I was very young, people were still quite concerned about what they wore to church. Everybody had their Sunday best and there was generally a new dress for Christmas and often a new hat for Easter. And you could feel that little bit of tension if someone came in with a rather scruffy or unkempt appearance (although everyone was too polite to say anything).
Then in the 70s, the hip behaviour and a re-thinking of social norms characteristic of the 60s hit my home town. In church, this was the era of “God doesn’t care what you wear on the outside,” and the teenagers competed to see who could get away with wearing the worst jeans to church. (Mothers still tended to arbitrate this somewhat.) Somehow, in the middle of this, we missed the opportunity to talk about what it would mean to clothe ourselves with Christ.
Where baptismal garments are used, they represent that we have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ. It is said that clothes don’t make the man (or woman), but in this case, they are wrong. It is precisely that we have been clothed with Christ that makes us who we are: children of God and inheritors of eternal life.
Thank you, Lord, that in Christ we are properly dressed for time and for eternity. Amen. — CN