Part 1 - Dressing Up

Dressing up,

Lookin' good and feelin' so alive.

Dressing up,

Got the clothes and I'm goin' in style.

Barbie and the Rockers

I would like to go dancing all dressed up, but I'm not sure what to wear. You see, I haven't been dancing much; it's been against my religion most of my growing-up days or at least I thought it was. Things are changing now, but it's hard to break away from those old taboos.

   What do we wear for the dance of life? David danced before the Ark of the Covenant in front of all Israel, but I'm not sure I want to wear what he wore or more accurately: didn't wear! Do clothes mask or express who we are? Do we dress to hide, to blend in, or to stand out? Is appearance really everything?

   We live in a culture that tells us that image is everything. Our world strives for proper appearances. The successful company is not necessarily the one with the best product but the one with the best image. The most beautiful girl is the one who best resembles the model on the cover of the magazine. The best rock group is the one with the most outrageous stage show, costuming, and marketing hype.

   In the midst of a dress-for-success world, how do we find out what is real? What actually lies behind the images? Is the product

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this company markets actually a good one? Is the real life of a beautiful model everything it's made out to be? Can this rock-and-roll band, decked out for the stage, really play music?

   In his victory romp celebrating the return of the Ark of the Covenant, David took a rather shocking approach to portraying his kingship. His wife Michal, who had been watching from her bedroom window, sarcastically derided him: "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!" He replied, "It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father [Saul] or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord's people Israel -- I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor" (2 Sam. 6:20-22).

   It appears, at least in David's case, that there must be a dressing down before dressing up is appropriate. David was a king by calling, not by pedigree. He was a shepherd boy whose only filigree was faith. His royal clothes carried no significance before God, so he took them off to dance. It was truly a dance of grace.

   I, on the other hand, have come to accept many aspects of my Christianity as an inheritance from a Christian culture. I have worn robes from youth that I now realize must come off if I am ever to dance the dance of life. I will probably be considered undignified by the Michals in the windows and held in honor by the slaves of the servants.

   If that's the case, then so be it; but get this stuff off me . . . I want to dance!

Chapter 2  ||  Table of Contents