Dress Up

“A train of his garment filling the temple.” – Isaiah 6: 1 – 2

I find it hard to get beyond the haberdashery into the holy. I admit I’m a jeans and T-shirt kind of person. When I hear about the holy inhabiting the temple, I wonder: Wouldn’t it be uncomfortable to be so over-dressed? What if you got hot? Is God showy?

I remember when you had to dress up to go to church. It was fun in a way that today’s uniforms are not. “Business casual” seems to have overtaken even the holy. What can people like us who are so casual, so simple, so comfortable in our clothing conclude about a divinity that is filling up the whole temple with fabric and jewels and grandeur and gumption? Is it good to be so unlike our God in our clothing? Does part of what’s gone wrong with Sabbath start with some inconvenient truth about wanting to wear the same thing seven days a week?

One of my sons has a job where he has to wear a suit every day. He asked for ties and cufflinks for Christmas. We all nearly passed out. We remember how hard it was to get him out of tennis shoes for holiday dinners. Luckily his grandfather had several beautiful sets of cuff links.

I don’t really know what clothes or fashion mean. And I certainly know very little about the holy. But Isaiah seems to think they are connected. A casual God? Can a casual God be holy? Can I be holy wearing jeans and a T-shirt?


O God, help us not to make too much meaning out of little stuff and then again, help us pay attention to getting the temple full of attention to the divine.

ddauthordonnaschaper.jpgAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her latest book is Prayers for People Who Say They Can’t Pray.