Wednesday Word: Getting Dressed
Several years ago I preached a sermon about the intersection of football and church. For those of you who have been paying attention, this is nothing new. I can't honestly remember the whole sermon, or what passage of scripture was the topic (but if I were to guess, I'd say it was 1 Cor. 12:12-31a). In that sermon I said that probably my favorite part of the game was the pregame locker room meeting.
It's during that time that the crew arrives. We come wearing different shirts, pants, and shoes. We come bringing different pieces of luggage packed in different ways. And then we begin dressing for the game. We all have our different routines. I always start with my t-shirt, then striped shirt, then my socks (left sock always first), then my compression shorts, then pants, then belt and buzzer, then shoes (left one first), and then flags, bags, whistles, down indicator, coin, penalty sheet, pen, and hat. Other officials have other routines; some of them very specific, some of them less so. But in the end, we who are many walk out onto the field together as one unified body. It's the best part of the game.
I happened to think about this last night as I was getting ready for Evening Prayer. I walked into the sacristy, pulled my vestments off the hangar, stepped into my cassock and buttoned it up. And as I was buttoning, my mind went back to that sermon about a bunch of guys coming together while looking very different, and then getting dressed into a particular uniform to become one.
There's something holy about this act of getting dressed. Every Sunday as I put on my microphone, alb, and stole, I am aware that I am about to partake in something holy and mysterious. Every Wednesday when I vest in alb and stole I am aware that I am about to partake in something holy and intimate. Every weekday that I vest in cassock, surplice, and tippet for Evening Prayer I am aware that I am about to partake in a holy and divine act.
Sometimes getting dressed is a mad, slapdash event because we overslept. Sometimes getting dressed involves choosing clothes to impress others or to bolster our own self-esteem. Sometimes getting dressed is an easy routine because we simply wear what's next in line. Sometimes getting dressed revolves around a special event, like a football game or Sunday morning.
How might we look at things differently if, when we got dressed, we were aware that we were about to partake in something mysterious, divine, and holy?
And there was evening, and there was morning, and God saw that it was good. This is the day the Lord has made; rejoice in it and be glad. Be careful how you live, giving thanks to God always. Rejoice in the Lord always.
Every day is a gift from God. As we get dressed, let us be aware that we are preparing to partake in the holy mystery that is our life in God.