Put on your Sunday clothes
By Hannah Sweet
When I was a little girl, going to church was the one day a week that my mom insisted I wear nice clothes, or at our house our “Sunday Clothes” as they were known. In my childhood that often meant a dress, hat, gloves, tights, underwear with a ruffle on the bum, and the shiniest patent leather Mary Janes. I remember feeling so special when I would get dressed up for church, because those were clothes that I only got to wear once a week. They were special. Eventually ruffle bums gave way to high heels, but no matter the clothes I wore I always walked a little taller on Sunday’s. I put my best on for God, but only on Sunday’s. I am a little ashamed to admit that I used to treat God like company, only putting on my best on Sunday’s. Now I’m not talking literally about my “Sunday Clothes”, but the feeling and attitude that I equated with them; my Sunday Personality, my “best behavior” as my mother would call it.
Recently they revived the Broadway Musical, Hello Dolly, which is a musical my family really enjoys, and so when the new Broadway Cast Recording of the musical came out my father purchased it. As we listened to the CD in the car the song “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” came on. It was like I was hearing this song for the first time. It’s funny isn’t it, how you can grow up hearing something and then one day the true meaning reveals itself to you? The song isn’t about getting dressed up in your finest, well it is but it isn’t. The song is about how your “Sunday Clothes” can give you a whole change of attitude, as evidenced by these lyrics:
Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out Strut down the street and have your picture took Dressed like a dream your spirits seem to turn about That Sunday shine is a certain sign That you feel as fine as you look!
That “Sunday-Morning-Feeling” is one that we should carry in our hearts, not just in the clothes we wear on Sunday. As Christians we should walk our tallest all our days, projecting the same Christian Love to everyone that we do to each other on Sunday Mornings. God isn’t company, God is family and he sees us through all our days, not just when we wear our “Sunday Clothes”. Imagine for a minute that we all carried our “Sunday Clothes” attitude throughout the entire week. What kind of week did you envision? Mine was a week filled with kindness, compassion, a week that was less “me” focused and more “God” focused. Sometimes it’s easy to be less open to God when we aren’t sitting in these pews. I know I am guilty of that. When I was praying on the words to share with you, God led me to this passage from 1 Peter 3:3-4:
3 Don’t try to make yourselves beautiful on the outside, with stylish hair or by wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Instead, make yourselves beautiful on the inside, in your hearts, with the enduring quality of a gentle, peaceful spirit. This type of beauty is very precious in God’s eyes.
We need to make our “Sunday Clothes” a sentiment we carry all week long within our hearts, not the finery we wear on Sunday’s. Putting forth your finest only on Sundays is the same as only brushing your teeth on Sunday. It is definitely not the best way we could be living our lives. God is deserving of our “Sunday Clothes” everyday not just Sunday. As you live your lives outside of the church look for opportunities to spread your “Sunday Clothes” attitude, and believe me there are opportunities EVERYWHERE! You only need to keep your heart, and mind open. God will take your “Sunday Clothes” attitude and spread it around. Our “Sunday Clothes” mentality is like manure, it doesn’t mean a thing unless you spread it around, encouraging things to grow. Nervous about sticking to that attitude all week long, don’t worry you aren’t alone. I’m there too! None of us are perfect, and we all stumble; try praying this prayer when you feel your “Sunday Clothes” attitude faltering in the week:
Dear Lord, I love you. Thank you for giving me the courage to live every day like it’s Sunday, in a world where Sunday is becoming less and less about you. Thank you for I know that you love me all the days, not just on Sunday when I bring you my best. Please help me keep my “Sunday Clothes” attitude all week long and to spread it around with all I have. Forgive me if I falter along the way, and put my “me” attitude first again. I will try my hardest to live my “Sunday Clothes” life and if I falter Lord grant me the courage to try again. Thank you for the constant reminders that my “Sunday Clothes” aren’t just for Sunday. Amen.