Tuesday, November 26, 2013


As a general rule of thumb, I don’t spend a lot space on my blog dealing with deep theological issues, as they tend to distract from living the faith. It isn’t that I don’t believe they matter; they DO matter. They matter at a level I don’t normally have as the focus of my blog. Today’s topic, as given for the 40 Days of Blogging Challenge sponsored by the Preachers’ Institute, is vestments. I’m quite sure there are many other more talented bloggers who can fill your brain with the details of exactly which piece of vestment symbolizes what and from which scripture quote. Again, I believe these things matter, but I’m not in that sort of mood today.

MOST people look at a member of the clergy and think one of two things…

Either “WOW! Where can I get me some of those cool duds?”

Or… “Why do they wear such funny clothes in this Church?”

Some MIGHT say, “I wonder why they dress like that.” (which is why I’m writing about the finer details)

But I’m sure NOBODY says, “Oh, that reminds me of heaven!” (and this is why I AM writing about the essence of clergy vestments)

When God established His Temple, and instructed Moses how to construct it, how to furnish it, how to decorate it, and how to operate it, He also instructed Moses to have the clergy dress in a certain fashion. For all these details, I suggest reading Exodus and Leviticus. God didn’t go such extreme lengths just for fun. He ALWAYS has a purpose for what He asks us to do. The Temple, and therefore temple worship, décor, and operation was to remind His people of Heaven. God has always had one thing in mind for us humans; to be with Him in Heaven. So the next time someone asks what Heaven will be like, tell them to visit an Orthodox Church (since there is no more Jewish Temple and we Orthodox Christians have inherited the fullness of the Temple Tradition) and watch the Orthodox Christian worship in action.

You see Orthodox Christian worship in and Orthodox Christian Church, and you see Heaven. The clergy attire was all part of this “foreshadow” of heaven. You can read for yourself in Isaiah 6 and Revelation 1. In both instances, we get a glimpse of God being worshipped in Heaven.

So, the next time you see an Orthodox Christian clergyman, dressed for worship, you will know that God has blessed you with a glimpse into Heaven. What remains is whether you are living with the understanding of that blessing or not.

This post is written for the 40 Days of Blogging Challenge sponsored by the Preachers Institute. You may find other blogs participating in this challenge. I hope you enjoy this year’s Advent journey.

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