Buried in a box of old photographs, I seem to remember a picture taken of my sisters Denise and Diane and myself in our Easter clothes. We were moving into our teenage years. My sisters wore new dresses with ribbons and carried purses. I probably got the new white shirt or maybe the tie. We were dressed up enough to have our picture taken together in front of the house before going to church. Easter marked the real beginning of spring, and a hallmark of the day was dressing up for church. Many ladies wore hats and some even wore white gloves. It was a day for smiles, family dinners and the smell of Easter egg dye. Easter meant lilies on the church altar table, special choir music and a re-telling of the greatest story ever told. That first Easter is, after all, the single most important day in the history of the world.
One Sunday, when I was serving on the staff of a church during college, a long-retired minister was asked to preach in the absence of the pastor. As he was being introduced, the preacher stepped up to preach hurriedly putting on his suit coat. Something was comically off. He kept fiddling with his coat throughout the beginning of his sermon, first trying to get the collar right, and then never finding how to get his hand into the coat pocket. He couldn’t—his coat was on inside out. He persevered with the message, taking a text from Colossians 2. Before we realized it, the wily preacher, having trapped us in our own pride, as many of us were snickering about his outfit, began reading “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…” He explained that his inside-out coat represented the deceptiveness of our sins and that the call of Christ is to take off the sinful ways of our old self and put on the new. He took off his coat as he explained the passage, and then he wore it right side out as the Maker/Tailor intended.
Easter is not about how you dress for church. It is about how Christ transforms us from the inside out. Like the old song says, Once I was lost, but now I am found. Once I was trapped in sin and shame, but now I am free and forgiven forever. All things are new because Christ is risen!
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Wear your Easter clothes every day. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.Share this webpage: