As most of you know, I retired (after 40 years in ministry) on July 1, 2013. Since then I have sought to live out the laws of “Casual Friday.” That is – be as casual as you can be or dare to be. I have only worn long pants part of one day and my neck has not touched a buttoned collar or a tie. I now know why that has caught on so rapidly in church. It has nothing to do with that word “contemporary” just simply comfort. I now know why preachers want to dress casually in the pulpit… it is much more comfortable without a tie or a tight collar.
But, alas my friends… it all ended today with a terrible reply to a text message. You see, I am officiating at a wedding Saturday. That means tonight is the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Since the rehearsal is at the home of the groom, I thought it would be, at the most, business casual. I texted David (the groom’s brother) to ask about the dress code. To my shock… he texts back “The norm is coat and tie.” I woke up about a half hour later as Shirley was drying the tears from my eyes. I checked the phone several more times and there was never the reply which said “I am kidding.”
I expected the horse collar tomorrow, but I thought I had one more day. This will mean that I have had to wear a tie or collar two days in a row…. plus, I have to wear a belt and socks and dress shoes. Oh, the humanity????
I kid you about all this… but I have enjoyed shorts, sandals – the casual feeling. The truth of the matter is I would wear a monkey suit to be with this family. I officiated at the wedding of another brother (David and Kendall) a few years ago. Being with the Murphy’s was and is an absolute hoot. Folks, they could take their conversations on the road and make a killing… packing the halls and clubs every night.
So tonight as I dine with them at Sedgefield Country Club, with all these constricting articles of clothing around my neck, waist and feet, know that I will be having a wonderful time.
It is good to have friends that you want to be around – even if you have to wear uncomfortable stuff. Thank God for your friends. Take steps to always stay as close as you can. All of us will benefit greatly from having true, good friends.
Dear Lord, thank you for allowing these families to cross paths and become friends. Thank you for lifting us up by being together, in and through Jesus. Amen.
Grace and Peace
PS: Remember Kendall who is in UNC Hospital