Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I just can’t bring myself to wear jeans to church. Nope, not even the stylish ones with lace and fancy stitching. I’m a child of the era when girls were required to wear dresses to school, and we saved our best for Sunday worship—not to show off, but to model respect for the Lord. Dressing up for worship symbolized giving God our best.
I admit to thinking it downright sacrilegious when the pastor and music minister started wearing jeans in the worship service. But do you know I couldn’t find a single verse in the Bible prohibiting jeans in church? Still, you can imagine my reaction to the otherwise-well-dressed young soloist whose jeans sported ragged holes across both knees. There I sat in all my Sunday-best self-righteous glory—until the Spirit whispered in my heart.
“Those jeans symbolize the kind of people I want in my church. Torn. Ragged. Their hurts and hearts showing through the damage. My church is meant for people in need of mending.”
How often do we think we need to clean ourselves up, get it together, and have our life organized before we can approach the Lord? Yet Jesus went to the sick, the unclean, the blind, the lame—those who couldn’t mend themselves. The Pharisees and religious leaders who dressed in fine robes more often earned harsh words rather than praise.
I’ve grown rather fond of ragged jeans in worship. They remind me of my own brokenness, my need for healing and forgiveness, for mending the torn areas. Not that I’ll be wearing any, but who knows? Maybe one day . . .
Now, if I could just persuade the music minister to stick with the old hymns.
Award-winning author Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. Besides writing, she enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. Mary and her husband live in Texas.