Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: AGREE TO DISAGREE (05/04/17)
- TITLE: What Really Matters
By Judy Sauer
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The commotion is everywhere. Kids are lining up for Sunday school check-in. Adults are helping themselves to the donuts. People are maneuvering around the clusters of those talking. Clearly, there isn’t any space left in the air for one more conversation. But that doesn’t stop Charlotte from starting one.
Noticing how Jean’s face is wiggling and wincing, Charlotte says, “What’s up, Jean? Your face is talking.”
“It just bugs me, ya know? Some people look like slobs,” Jean blurts out.
“For sure,” Charlotte says as her right hand firmly grips her hip.
Standing tall, Jean says, “I think our church needs a dress code, out of respect to the Lord. Do you agree?
“Oh Pastor John,” waving him to come over. He makes his way over to the ladies; he looks like a salmon swimming upstream. Jean says, “Doesn’t it bug you that some people come to church wearing jeans and flip flops…overalls and sports jerseys too? Our church needs a dress code.”
With no smile, just seriousness, he speaks softly. “Many in the congregation do not have the means to buy good clothes. At least they’re clean, right?”
Charlotte pipes in, “Not the guy sitting next to me today. His shirt was stained with food; I could see crusty pieces.”
To end the conversation, and appease the ladies, he says, “I will make time tonight to get others’ thoughts on this topic. He excuses himself to greet other church members.
Later that night, crowds are congregating in the gathering area. Those same bellowing conversations from this morning are now soothing, “How do you dos?” The crowd shuffles into the chapel, and quickly takes their seats. Word gets out that Pastor John is having an open discussion with the church members tonight. Curiosity is what gets them to their seats so fast.
As Pastor John takes the microphone, he says, “It has been brought to my attention that some members believe the church needs a dress code, and I want your thoughts on the matter.”
The congregation makes a cacophony of chuckles, yeses, and boos.
“Let’s settle down. We still have a service tonight so we’re not going to belabor the subject,” Pastor John said. “Janice, your hand is raised.”
Janice is visibly shaking. Sarcastically, she says, “Sorry, but I’m on food stamps. How am I to buy fancy clothes for my five kids?”
Jim shouts, “I’m not a suit-wearing guy. What you see is what you get.”
Pastor John asks, “Charlotte, please explain why a formal dress policy is important to you?” All eyes dart in her direction.
Blushing, Charlotte seems to have lost her bossy-nerve from this morning. She stammers, “Well, um, we are coming to spend time with the Lord. We should at least dress in our best clothes. Church is the greatest time in our lives.” She quickly sits down.
Sitting next to Charlotte is Jean. She pops up and says, “To be honest, I’m sure ya’ll have more than overalls, sweat pants, and flip flops to wear. God invites us to his feast at the table. Our Sunday best is to please the Lord. We should give him our finest out of reverence.”
Paul raises his hand, “Pastor John, what would Jesus say on this topic?”
“That’s an excellent question.”
Bob jumps in, “God doesn’t care what we wear. He only wants us to be at church. In Jesus’ day, people didn’t have “good” clothes. They wore everyday clothes. Perhaps in today’s world some people don’t put much thought into what they wear because it’s a personal choice.”
“Obviously, we need a “agree-to-disagree” mindset on this topic,” Pastor John says. “Jesus did not say the style of clothing required; just to follow him. Will you?
AUTHOR NOTES: I know that how things are portrayed don’t happen this way in the real world.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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