[From the archives.]
I don’t want to show you a picture of what I looked like in the tux I wore for my Senior Ball back in high school, but suffice to say I looked goofy. Same goes for the tux I wore for my wedding; still looking like a goof. And if you’re waiting to see what I look like in a tux nowadays, you’ll have a long wait because, again, the goofiness can come through. Tuxedos just aren’t my normal attire.
I do dress formally for work, though. After all, courtrooms are formal places where we have formal proceedings so you’d expect people to dress formally right?
You’d be wrong. Except for the attorneys (and not even all of them), I can go a whole day seeing people dressed extremely casually. How casual? How about like this? And then there was the guy who showed up for his probation review hearing in a shirt that said “If I wanted your opinion I’d give it to you.” (He May not have realized that it was my opinion on his probation performance that counted.) I don’t toss people out based on clothing, though, because for many of them it’s as much as they could do to find their way to court that day.
So what is my formal attire? My black muumuu, of course. Don’t worry, I wear slacks, a dress shirt and tie too. But I don’t get as fancy as these judges (scroll down that link a bit to see some robes from overseas courts).
Even if I dressed like the Lord Chancellor, though, I still wouldn’t be in the best finery possible.
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 22:8-13.)
Why on earth would someone be tossed out of the wedding banquet for not wearing the right clothes? Because this is the wedding banquet of the Son, and the guests and the bride are one and the same: the People of God.
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19: 6-9.)
These clothes – the “fine linen, bright and clean” – are Christ himself and his righteousness:
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment. (Galatians 3:27.)
Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4.)
It’s not about laws and rules and it’s not about picking the right outfit. It’s about Jesus and all he has done for us, being righteous for us and clothing us in that righteousness so that we are always acceptable in the sight of God.
Do you have the right outfit for the wedding banquet? If you belong to Jesus, you’re wearing it right now. If you don’t yet belong to him, he is ready to hand you an outfit tailor-made to fit.
[If you want to see fancy duds here and now, though, you can’t get much fancier than this:]