Read Zechariah 9
Focus on verse 9
I remember the day, many years ago, that we heard the news that the Queen Elizabeth II of England was going to be driven, by car, through the small town where my grandmother lived. My parents packed my siblings and I into our old car on the day of the event and we drove to my grandmother’s home where we joined the crowds that lined the street in front of my grandmother’s house where the motorcade would be passing by. When the moment finally arrived I saw a brief glimpse of the Queen’s hat, her gloved hand doing the classic queen wave, and a glimpse of about one quarter of her face through the rear window of the limousine. The whole things lasted maybe 20 seconds, but we were all happy – we had seen the queen!
In today’s reading, the prophet writes,
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (v. 9)
This verse is quoted by the gospel writer Matthew (5:21) when he records how Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the foul of a donkey while the people rejoiced and hailed Him as their king!
There is something about royalty that people seem to admire. Everyone wants to be close to the King. For some it’s a power trip, for others it’s a fascination or perhaps a realization that this is the closest they will ever come to the fantasy of being royalty. Regardless of the motive, most people tend to make an attempt to present themselves in a proper fashion out of respect for the king or queen. In the cases where the king or queen actually wields significant power, it may also be driven by a sense of self-preservation.
It occurs to me that if we go to the trouble of dressing in our best for the sake of a human monarch, why do we not always do the same when we gather to worship the King of Kings? I realize that many churches have adopted a “come as you are” philosophy which has its merits. A case could certainly be made that God looks at the heart rather than the outward appearance of a person, and to simply dress up on the outside does little to change the heart of a person.
However it is that we dress ourselves when we gather to worship God, there is no question that our inward attitude toward Him takes priority over our outward appearance. Perhaps the best approach is to allow each person to weigh in their own heart how best to express their respect and honor for God not just in how we dress, but more importantly in how we prepare ourselves spiritually, not just when we gather to worship God, but everyday as we do our best to follow Him in all that He calls us to do.