When I was in Bible college, I volunteered in a homeless ministry. We walked the “mean” streets of Columbia, Missouri and just built relationships with the career homeless. The most dynamic one was a guy who we only knew as, “Preacher Gary.” He was a little eccentric and had more than a few strange ideas about Christianity. However, some of his ideas are surprisingly insightful, here’s one of them:
Preacher Gary always wore an all black dress shirt, black slacks and shoes. He was never seen without a black cowboy hat with “Jesus is Lord.” written in large, white letters. It was adorned with a small, metal crucifix (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifix) on the front.
His plain, yet distinctive fashion choice was precisely designed to show every onlooker, exactly what he was. Preacher Gary wanted everyone to know that Jesus is Lord, and that he takes his faith seriously. Now, if you ever asked why he dressed that way, he would begin in Genesis.
In Genesis 3:9-11 we have the account of Adam, hiding from God. Adam and Eve have just eaten the forbidden fruit, shamefully made clothes from the bushes, and leapt into said bushes when they heard God coming. At God’s approach, their reaction was to hide.
Preacher Gary would then take you to Exodus 28:33-35, where God is explaining how He wants the High Priest’s clothes made. God requires that the robe the High Priest wears will have alternating little, gold bells and pomegranate seeds all the way around the hem. The specific goal was so that the High Priest would jingle, everywhere he went.
Adam hid, God want’s his High Priest to be visible. Dressed in priestly garb of Gold and bright blue with bells and pomegranates around the hem. He’s an eyesore that jingles everywhere he goes. Hiding is impossible.
God doesn’t like it when you try to hide from him. He can see you anyway and you look ridiculous. He loves when you stand before him unashamed, trusting in his forgiveness. God purposefully designed the Priestly robes to make hiding from him feel more impossible and ridiculous than it already was.
Brought to the New Testament, God wants you to want to be seen by the world. In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says that you are a city on a hill, a bright light to be shared with all. Preacher Gary took this to heart, and made himself a uniform for being a Christian.
His reasoning was that the world should know you’re a Christian, just by looking at you. Jesus shouldn’t have to look for you when He returns. You should be immediately visible as a Christian. Looking at you, are you a Christian? How would anyone know?
Now, obviously you don’t need to dress funny to be a good Christian. The lesson here though, it to not be embarrassed of the old “Got Jesus” t-shirt in your closet. Maybe don’t wear clothes that have vulgarities on them. Moreover, we must show others our faith by our ACTIONS.
How we live and how we treat other humans determine how we are “dressed” before God and the world. We must be clothed with Christ. We must use our ACTIONS to showcase our faith.
Shame hid us from God and his renewed relationship with us calls us to be seen by all. A city on a hill, a beacon to the nations. Make your Christianity conspicuous and unmistakable. When the Lord returns, he shouldn't have to look for you.