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Present yourself well before the king

If you do not believe that God speaks in clear, sometimes audible messages, this is not your column today, I’m afraid.

I am writing mainly for the Pentecostal that knows one can actually hear God’s voice when one prays. Well, one of the intercessors in my church brought one such message to the church on Sunday, and all of us recoiled in shame.

“The Lord told me to tell the church to stop dressing carelessly when coming to church,” she started.

That as the voice spoke, she said, she was seeing women’s feet clad in the flimsiest of slippers and sandals, shuffling noisily in church. I am one of those people that gave up the idea of ‘Sunday-best’ a long time ago, and now use my Sundays to wind down and dress comfortably above all else.

I am also in the habit of praying at home while wrapped in just a lesu, if anything at all, and have become a master at justifying my dress code with‘God is interested in my heart and not my outward appearance’.

In fact, sometimes I start my private prayer sessions with 'I am grateful that your are my Creator and therefore there is no part of my body that you don’t know!’

Hmm.

I felt thoroughly chastised on Sunday as the sister spoke. You know, one cannot ignore that divine chastisement when it comes. And I was not alone. People come to church looking unkempt, knowing well that they put in all the effort for bosses and colleagues during the week.

Men come in shorts, T-shirts and sandals, and I have seen women come to church in those 'comfortable' 'stay-at-home' polyester long dresses that even their husbands abhor.

In the entire church, the intercessor said, God showed her only one person who dressed up with care every Sunday morn- ing, knowing well that they were coming to meet the King of kings. Kind of like Esther. Why hadn’t I seen it that way before?

Dressing well or carefully for God does not necessarily mean having a big, expen- sive wardrobe or closet; it simply means being mindful of the greatness of the God in whose presence you are going, and choos- ing your outfit thoughtfully.

Every December my church has what we call Esther Day, inspired by the book of Esther in the Bible, when she dressed exquisitely in preparation for her appearance before her husband, King Ahasuerus. And because of her one deed, she found great favour in his sight and he invited her to ask for whatever she wanted, “even up to the half of my kingdom”.

On Esther Day we ‘dress to kill’, then slip back into our drivel thereafter. I don’t know about you, but I am chang- ing things with immediate effect.

malita@observer.ug

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