I grew up in a time when Easter and Christmas were celebrated with days off of school, Easter bonnets, pretty new clothes, Easter egg hunts, lots of special food and going to church at 6 in the morning. Some of the highlights of church were entering a sanctuary filled with Easter Lilies, a white drape falling majestically over the cross, special triumphant music and a time for families to gather for breakfast afterwards. There were the cakes made to look like little lambs, hot cross buns, pancakes, hard boiled eggs and lots of other treats.
I remember a time, not too long ago, when our dog helped himself to a bag of jelly beans while we attended church. It wasn’t a pretty sight when we arrived home. The carpet had changed from beige to Technicolor during our absence. It looked like someone threw up a box of crayons.
We always got something new and special to wear. I insisted on something with lots of poofiness, which wasn’t the best look for me since I was already poofy. My childhood weight issues have carried on to my adult years, but I’ve learned to dress in things that don’t emphasize my size. My sister and I donned new dresses, shoes, purses, gloves and hats. My parents were not by any means wealthy, but they always managed to dress us well for the holidays. Dad probably had to take another part time job to cover the cost.
All the things we add to the Easter and Christmas, don’t begin to hold a candle to God’s love for us. We can display gorgeous flowers, make splendid dinners, buy new clothes, but none will cover the ugliness that lies within us. We’re all sinners and there’s no way to gloss over that. During those special church holidays, which by the way are the most well attended, we come to God’s house with hope in the promise that God has already washed away our sins.
Traditions are great because they help us to remember the past. The greatest memory from the history of the world, is that God loves us, so much that He gave His life for us.
When you attend church this weekend, remember the glorious gift we’ve been given and thank God for His grace – undeserved, yet freely given.