“We are what we Wear” – Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs 9/3/14
“We are what we Wear”
“Fashion,” says Oscar Wilde, “is the form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to altar it every six months.”
Matthew 22.1-14 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so 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 a wedding robe, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
What insults the king most?
Forgetting how to act at God’s party
Showing up at the reception just to drink the punch and put a finger in the cake
Treating God as an inconvenience
Prioritizing everything else
Soren Kierkegaard tells of the dutiful ducks who waddled to duck church one Sundaymorning. They sat in their duck pews, sang from their duck hymnals, and prayed their duck prayers. Rev. Duck opened his duck bible and preached his duck sermon about God’s gift of wings, that we can mount up like eagles and soar to the heavens escaping the pens and fences of life on the ground and finally be free. Some of the ducks felt the Spirit move and started to tremble and shake and get their feathers in flurry and some even started to take off. But the preacher pronounced the benediction and they all quacked “amen” and waddled home.
What insults the king the most?
In the same way the ducks refused to fly, we, often, refuse to change our wardrobes.
Tom Long says, “to come into the Church in response to the gracious, altogether unmerited invitation of Christ and then not to conform one’s life to that mercy is to demonstrate a spiritual narcissism so profound that one cannot tell the difference between the wedding feast of the Lamb of God and happy hour at the bus station bar.”
From our baptism on, Christianity has always been a daily decision about what to wear: windbreaker pants and hair scrunchies, feathery boas and leisure suits, platform shoes and slap bracelets, the in-vogue fads that are inappropriate for every occasion or the garments of compassion and kindness, humility and patience, forgiveness and love, the eternal style of Christ, the wedding garment tailor made for every one of us.
While we get to choose what we pull off the rack, know the fashion police are watching, reminding us that everyday is a dress rehearsal for God’s final wedding banquet.