“Sunday Best” brings to mind shopping, an air of excitement, crisp pressed creases and frilly ruffles. It’s black and white. It is pomp and display.
It is also orchestration, etiquette and decorum. “Sunday Best” is order brought about by protocol and expectations.
And so, “Sunday Best” also brings to mind a certain uncomfortable stiffness.
We’ve thrown off the “come in your best” standard for church attendance, and pretty much adopted “come as you are” in a wholesale way. In my own childhood, polishing our dress shoes on a Saturday night was ritual. Now we try to enforce: “No shirt, no shoes, no (worship) service.”
I hope these changes mean significant gains in grace. I hope we’ve learned well that God looks past the lapel to the heart. But I wonder if our gains in grace have been matched by losses in the area of holiness.
Leviticus feels more than a little stiff. You might say “absolutely stifling!” Okay, I won’t argue with that. It’s a world away from western Christianity in the 21st century. It’s a covenant away from the New Covenant in Christ Jesus.
But Leviticus remains God word to us. Studying Leviticus will make sure that while we worship informally, we never worship casually.