photo © 2008 Lin Fuchshuber | more info (via: Wylio)
Last weekend during our sabbath school time (the same as sunday school:-) we had an interesting discussion in our class. Essentially the question arose: Why do we do the things that we do? Particularly speaking of things in our religious/church experience.
One example I used was the fact that at least in our church and in my church growing up, we always dressed up. We put on our 'Sabbath' best. Now I stated that this discussion was not IF we should dress up but WHY we dress up.
Most people responded that the reason was because they wanted to wear there very best before God and everybody agreed that if there best was jeans and a shirt that would be fine also. Now of course this isn't the first time in which I've been involved in a discussion mentioning the 'appropriate' way to go to church. In most cases people generally give the same answers as just mentioned adding points such as, 'if you would visit the president of the United States you would dress up/ wear a suite.' Though this is true, I would venture to say that this is perhaps not the best example to give. Yet we must stick to the issue here in this post, which is the WHY question not IF.
Now after hearing there reasons, I raised the following point. I said, 'Ok, if the reason as a whole you are saying we 'dress up' for church is to wear our very best for God. Why is it that on other occasions when we meet, let's say like: prayer meeting, a special Friday night vespers, Sabbath evening vespers, a week of prayer, or any other time we gather at the church (building) to praise God in one shape form or another do we not put the same emphasis on 'dressing up?'
Now you will have to apply this principle to your own context but I have been in many churches in which for our 'church service' we 'dress up' but, let's say, that we are having a special evening vespers most people come 'dressed down'. Why is that? Isn't the same God that we serve in the morning service the same God we want to worship for an evening vespers, week of prayer, Friday vespers or any other time we gather together in the church building to worship through song, music, and the speaking of His word? So if the reason we 'dress up' for our regular church service is that we are coming to worship God, aren't we worshiping God the other times we might gather together as previously mentioned?
Why do you do what you do?
After some more discussion one person stated that it's actually more 'cultural' than anything. To some degree I believe this statement to be correct. The real reason some come to church 'dressed up' is not necessarily only because God is being worshiped but because everyone else is somewhat 'dressed up' also. If the reason why we 'dressed up' was purely on the basis that we are coming before God, then just to re-emphasize the point again, we would also 'dress up' every time we are coming before God in worship through any kind of service.
So as the Holidays are before us and the year 2010 is nearing it's end. I always like to take time to really ponder and wonder: Why do I do what I do?
I ask then: Why do you do what you do? Don't answer the question superficially, take your time, don't be afraid of the answers, they just may lead to a fresh, more vibrant approach to your spiritual journey.
It seems to me that Jesus always knew WHY He was doing what He was doing