Faith in Jesus Christ implicates a person in his way of life. Here is a sketch, a caricature that delves at the same time in the depths of the ordinary:
James 2:2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3 If
you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say,
“Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand
there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Clothing matters in the world; clothing speaks. It speaks of status and wealth and power and strength and potential. And it clothing tempts church leaders and Christians into thinking that the well-dressed person would be of use and help to the church. The shabbily-dressed woman or man, the homeless, speak something else: no status and no wealth and no power and no strength and no potential. And it tempts church leaders and Christians into thinking that the shabby fellow is of no use.
A question: How does clothing speak in our churches today?
A point: how you treat the shabbily-dressed reveals whether or not you treat the person the way Jesus would treat them. He welcomes them. Do you?