Easter Confessional, redux

My blog friend Angela @ Becoming Me is hosting an Easter carnival, Because of the Cross, where participants share their posts, past or present, about the true meaning of Easter: the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope to post something later this week but for now I’m giving you an Easter post from the Lisa writes archives circa 2007…

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April 9, 2007

You know I have holiday issues. If you have your doubts, you can check out my attitude as reflected here and here.

Most of my holiday ills stem from a resentment of the pressure to conform to the commercialism of the season. Easter, however, is a little different. Instead of resisting conformity, I find a part of me actually wanting to yield. Not about the Easter bunny and eggs, give me a break. No, I struggle more with the new dress-new shoes-new purse angle. I admit it, Easter, in addition to the obvious, often connotes clothes, specifically dresses, in bright, Easter-y colors like pink and green and yellow.

This year I purchased no new dress. In fact, yesterday, Easter Sunday mind you, I committed one of the greatest sacrileges a girl like me, Southern born and Southern bred, could make:

I wore pants.

To church.

On Easter Sunday.

With a sweater.

A turtleneck.

Black.

I have to say I have no problem wearing pants to church. In fact, I probably do wear pants more often than a skirt (though it took me a long time to get to that point) and I never wear a dress. But on Easter? I feel quite sure my grandmother, she of the elegance of the hat-and-glove-and-by-all-means-matching-pumps-and-pocketbook generation, turned over in her grave.

(Okay, not really, as she is not in her grave; her body is, but she is in Paradise, the Presence of God, and I feel quite sure that should she have taken note of my apparel choice yesterday, she would not have minded one bit.)

In Sunday school we watched portions of The Passion of the Christ. Actually, I only watched portions of the portions. I am a wimp. I can’t take it.

As with the first time I saw the film, and upon reflection of the gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection, I am struck by (among other things) the determination of Mary and the other women to stay, to watch, and to remain. I cannot stomach a Technicolor depiction; yet they stood near to Him through the very worst. I think of Mary’s mother heart: how she must have wanted to die, if not in His place, at least by His side! What strength. What faith. What love.

And certainly they were not concerned with what they were wearing.

Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. Outwardly, I may have been pants and black turtleneck clad, but inwardly my heart nearly broke with gratitude and love as I humbly bowed before the cross of my Jesus…

Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.

Gal. 6:14

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Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

7 thoughts on “Easter Confessional, redux”

  1. Having gone to a church where it was like the Easter Parade, I have actually resisted the urge to do the Easter "outfits". Which usually works out fine since half the time we have a cold snap and people look ridiculous when it's 45 and rainy and they're wearing their clothes made for sunny & 75!But as the old hymn goes, "There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today"

  2. Beautiful! I am so glad you reposted this. I completely understand your sentiments. From the time I was an infant, I had a new dress for Easter until recently and even bought my daughter a special dress for Easter this year (although not nearly as fancy as traditional Easter fare) and really…why? I mean it isn’t bad…really…but it depends on the heart…if I have ugliness on the inside due to guilt, shame, pride, unforgiveness, etc, than it makes no difference how I try to honor God or celebrate Him with what I am wearing.

  3. Lisa, this post absolutely touched my heart on many levels.My mom is European so dressing up for church, especially Easter Sunday, was very important. Now as an adult, I’ve let some of those expectations go, but I still have a hard time with the general “absolute casual dress” that some have when coming to church. I don’t know, maybe I have some more letting go to do.

  4. This is a fantastic post! (For some reason I missed this when you first posted.) I hadn’t thought about the clothes angle in some time but yes, when I was growing up especially, buying a new outfit was a BIG DEAL. It wasn’t until I moved away from home (and therefore could not afford the new clothes on my shoestring budget!) that I started moving away from that.And again, I think you and holidays are an interesting topic!Happy Easter! Christ is Risen! Hallelujah.

  5. I have pretty much given up dressing up this year. The nursery kids don’t really care =) I am so glad that He sees the heart and that it is really all he cares about. What a great reminder for this Easter weekend!

  6. No new clothes for me either. Not since I was a kid. I’d almost forgotten about the excitement of having a new spring outfit.I too could not watch The Passion. Once is enough. Too much visual for my imagination. And humbly grateful that it was not too much for God. Ironically, our Bible study is studying the same last week of Jesus earthly life just as we are approaching Easter. It’s a lot to comprehend. I don’t think I will ever fully comprehend it. Wishing you and your family many Easter blessings!

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