Me in a Tuxedo

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 this shirt. I don’t toss them out, though, because for many of them it’s all they could do to find their way to court that day.

So what’s 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.)

and,

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.

***

Question to ponder: How does the righteousness of Christ make a difference in your day-to-day living?

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12 Responses to Me in a Tuxedo

  1. Day-to-day, I find that my decisions are based on what I hope Father would endorse. I find the flow of that supremely comforting… No matter how I ‘dress it up’, when walking in His shoes, though not always easy, is always reassuring. As to my own attire, I’m glad He looks at what’s inside rather than the external…. And, it seems, our churches are following suit (ha!) more and more. As God shows us the picture of what matters most, we become concerned less with appearances and more with motive. That’s what I perceive anyway.
    Thanks for this post, Tim. Always in step with how we “live and move and have our being”!

    • Tim says:

      I like the way you put that, Sarah. Walking in God’s way may not be easy, but it is comforting. It must be because the Comforter himself lives in us, the Spirit of Christ who also lives through us.

  2. janehinrichs says:

    Tim, you ought to post those Tux Pictures!

  3. My first book was about a Superior Court Judge, who believed that court demanded a certain modicum of respect. People didn’t dare show up in her courtroom dressed like they were going to Wal-Mart. I have known her since I was a young girl and I never saw her in pair of pants until she was well past 70 years of age … and even then never in public. She wore dresses, gloves, pantyhose, heels, a black gown and a cock-eyed wig (easier than fixing her hair everyday). When I go into courtrooms today and see how people dress, I’m baffled. Sometimes I feel the same way at church. While we may be clothed in the righteousness of Christ, in public it always pays to dress for the occasion.

    • Tim says:

      Proper dress for the occasion – a good thing to keep in mind. It’s not that improper dress is a moral issue, of course. And it’s not a matter of conformity, as far as I’m concerned. People can dress eccentrically or conventionally, but to be completely mindless or even downright provoking in dress can interfere with what people are really gathering for. In a courtroom, that probationer’s T-shirt that said “If I want your opinion I’ll give it to you” just conveyed the wrong message to the judge.

  4. Aimee Byrd says:

    This article makes me think of how critical I may be of myself and others. Christ clothes us because our deeds are like filthy rags. We all need his covering. With that in mind, I should look at others with the same grace my Savior has given me.

    • Tim says:

      Good point Aimee, and I think it’s also true that when he washes us clean our filth is washed away so that his righteousness sits upon us without any dirt or crud coming between us and that blessed garment.

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