This week I want to argue that getting ready for church Sunday morning is a function of ultimate Christian eschatology. Just as our donning of the righteousness of Christ is taking on a foreign garment to cover our sinfulness (Luther called us "snow-covered dung,") so preparing for Sunday morning service is a testimony to our eschatological hope. When we put on the shirt/tie/coat, or blouse/skirt/dress, we are dressing up and presenting ourselves not as our normal, everyday selves, but as people greater than we now seem to be. We are pointing from the lesser to the greater.
No, I do not mow the lawn or wash the dishes in these clothes, but I hope for a better version of me in the future, and that is why I am "dressing up;" to point to a future hope. That is why families dress up for portraits. The family looking its best points to the future hope of more love, better communication, and sacrificial service on behalf of its members. We are not looking our best because we have already attained the prize, but to represent our hope and trust that by God's grace we shall one day be the individuals and family God is calling us to be.
So it is in the Church of Christ. Our dapper suits and friendly smiles need not be hypocrites' masks if they are given in the spirit of mutual charity and hope. The way I am treating you at my very best is but the smallest inkling of how it shall be in the future when we have been transformed by Christ himself, "in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye," to be the individual and collective children of God he is making us into. And when this ultimate hope has been obtained, so shall we ever be with the Lord.