I admire the way Kenyans honor God on Sunday. Despite that a typical Kenyan family exists as subsistence farmers, walks 3-5 miles to church down a muddy dirt road, resides in a house with a dirt floor, cooks over smoky charcoal, and washes their clothes in a bucket; that very family will come to church wearing their Sunday best. It is remarkable. I don't know how they do it. Meredith manages to dirty up her dress and color her arms with pink marker just between our hospital and our walk to church.
The Kenyan men and boys wear suits, ties, vests, and dark shoes nicely polished. The Kenyan women and girls adorn themselves with their most beautiful dresses (well ironed), high-heeled shoes, jewelry, and hair neatly kept. I wonder if this is a way they are giving God their "first fruits" as discussed in Nehemiah 10. It may not be much but I wonder if coming in your "Sunday Best" is an offering to God? Is this their first crop, their new wine, their finest oils, their best grain, their purest ground meal.
When we were back in the States we came to church on "show your knees Sunday" where you were encouraged to wear shorts. Casual is in. Formal is not. "Come as you are" is the norm. Overdressing to church is almost more awkward than underdressing.
Have times changed? This is a picture of me and my siblings circa 1981. Yes, I am confidently wearing a bow tie and a Big-bird vest. Maybe this is Easter Sunday...I can't remember. But I know at that moment we came dressed to church...as if this was really important...as if something special was going to happen...and someone amazing would be in our presence.
What do you think? Is it church dress regional? Is church dress denominational? Have we become more casual? Does it still matter "how" we come to church?