Tonight I wore a very expensive and formal suit to our youth group meeting… and we were having a water balloon fight!
No… I didn’t wear the suit on purpose, it just kinda happened because I was invited to do the invocation (opening prayer) for the Monmouth Academy 2011 Graduation Ceremony. And what a wonderful ceremony it was! From there I went straight to youth group.
Anyway, it got me thinking about how much our culture is invested in appearances. I’m NOT a suit kind of guy… I am a tee shirt and jeans kind of guy. And when I showed up to youth group in a suit… it was… well… out of place.
In our life of faith appearances are always completely out of place. Even though our culture tells us we have to look our best, act our best, and put on the best show of ourselves… the fact of the matter is that God is looking at what we say and do BEHIND appearances. Look at the teaching Scripture for our reflection today:
whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your God who is in secret; and your God who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:5-6)
Many of us are tied up in appearances in our work life, family life, church life, and social life. We do things for show thinking that ‘the show’ is the important thing. We shouldn’t be fooled. It is what happens in our hearts and lives outside of the spotlight that defines who we are.