Pause for Thought by Ray Dadswell: The right clothing

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WEARING what I was wearing, I could have been mistaken for the gardener as well, I suppose, or the gas meter reader, or even the man who goes down holes in the middle of the road.

It was the navy blue coat I had put on that morning that caused the embarrassment. The one with the tasteful blue edging. I realise now that it is everywhere, copies of it anyway. Not particularly stylish, but adequate.

In the space of an hour, I had been asked the time of the next train to a certain country halt, and, by someone different, if there would be a postal collection that Sunday morning.

Of course, I couldn’t answer either question with any degree of certainty.

Since I have no inclination to work for the railway or drive a red van with the Royal Mail logo on the side, I guess the said piece of clothing will have to go. If not, then, I’ll wear it only in the house, where the residents know what my job is. Actually, the coat was a holiday present from my wife some years before, so I will have to be careful.

Generally, though, I dress appropriately for the occasion, with thought as to whether formal or casual attire is required.

Once or twice I have been caught out wearing a suit or tie when I really didn’t need it. Or, the other way round.

Perhaps in the past, it was more important to have on the right clothing for a special event, and today our changing culture allows us to be less concerned.

In one of his parables (Matthew 22), Jesus speaks of a man at a wedding reception, standing out in the crowd because of incorrect garb. ‘How did you get in?’ The man was speechless and was forcibly removed from the banquet.

At some point in the future, when the call comes, I shall be in the presence of God, clothed in the salvation of Christ, and thus able to take part in the great celebration.

No doubting then as to who I am or my right to be there. t is the Son of the King who has made my invitation possible. In teenage years I grateful accepted, and look forward more and more to meeting my host, and to enjoying the party for eternity.

PS: The next coffee morning at Eastbourne Christian Resource Centre will be on Thursday December 6th, with proceeds being donated to St Wilfrid’s Hospice. In addition, 10% of the shop[s’ profits that day will be passed on the same good cause.