25 March 2013

a whispered truth

I want to whisper a quiet truth to you on this Monday before Easter.  Its not meant to condemn or even convict, its meant to reassure the ones that just aren't sure.

You know, Easter is a big deal for us Jesus-followers.  Its a celebration of the culmination of all those things we believe.  Those crazy, unbelievable things that we believe with all of our heart.  We believe that Jesus - the very son of God - came from Heaven to Earth.  That He lived, breathed, and walked these dusty places as a man, perfectly.  He was sinless, spotless, loved all - and He did it well.  This week we celebrate His arrival to Jerusalem - the excitement mixed with resentment in the crowds that welcomed Him.  We remember He tried to tell His followers then some things they just could not comprehend.  He prayed and asked the Father if there might be another way, then He laid down His will for the Father's.  He was arrested.  He was beaten.  For me.  For you.  He hung on a cross before a crowd - forgiving and loving even then.  He died.  We Jesus-followers believe this to be absolutely true even though it is nearly fairy-tale-esque.  We believe He was dead.  No breath.  No life.  Really really dead.  Then He was buried.  We believe after three days that He rose from the dead.  We believe he lived, breathed, and walked these dusty places as a man again, but this time with scars.  Believing all of this with a faith that seems child-like, we celebrate this week.  On Easter we give Him glory because He gave us life.  We remember He did this for you, for me.

And the thing I want to whisper to you is simple really.

You don't need a new dress for Easter.

I don't know where this idea came from.  I'm not sure why "it's a thing" in some circles.  But I can tell you a little story about an Easter dress of mine from almost a decade ago.  I think its a story you might need to hear today.

I think it was the first Easter that I was a momma for reals.  I birthed that baby boy in the middle of summer and I guess I probably made myself fit into my fall & winter clothes well enough.  I must've checked my closet on Good Friday, because we were shopping on Saturday for an Easter dress for momma.  {Naturally, Wilson had received at least 2 outfits for Easter, maybe 3}.  No one told me I needed a new dress, I just thought I should have one.  I know we did not have the money for it.  But our credit cards were not yet maxed out, and no creditors had begun calling.  I don't remember a thing about trying on the dresses (or how many I tried on, no clue).  I remember the dress.  It was almost sleeveless.  It had flutter sleeves.  So I needed to find a sweater or jacket to wear with it.  I checked over the clearance racks and found some sort of zip-up sports-wear-like-jacket-thing in a color that worked.  I am pretty sure the dress was not on sale, so I made sure I found a cheap jacket (that was totally not the right style for the dress, but somehow in my mind I needed it).  Oh and I needed shoes.  I had no shoes to wear.  (Unlikely, but again in my mind, I needed shoes.)  I remember the shoes - criss-cross brown-wedge-sandals.

I don't remember what weekend Easter was that year and I am a little too lazy to look it up right now.  But this I know.  It was cold in Michigan that Easter.  I wore hose (aka nylons, pantyhose, old lady tights) with my new dress and my open toe wedge-heel-sandals and zip-up-sports-wear-like jacket.   It was ridiculous.  Absurd.  Probably $40+ of absurdity on a credit card we couldn't pay off.  (Oh and those sandals? They killed my feet. Awesome).

I almost missed it that year.  The glory of Jesus coming for me.  The power of Him that lived, breathed, walked these dusty places as a man.  For me.  For you.  He poured Himself out for me.  For you.  And the truth was (and is) no dress on earth would make me deserve that kind of love.  Nothing I could ever do would earn that, He gave it.  

I thought I needed to look good for Easter, but I couldn't quite grasp it; so instead I looked a little absurd and awkward.  That morning at church I knew, I needed to come and celebrate Him.  The One who rose from the grave, the One that defeated death.  He did it for me.  Not me in a pretty dress.  Me.   And He did it for you too!

So if you are considering attending a church service this weekend, and you are thinking maybe you won't because you don't think you have a dress to wear... or if you are panicking about having time to shop for your Easter outfit, because you need something new... Just let this sink in...

You don't need a new dress for Easter. 

You just need Him.  He just wants you.

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. “And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.*"  John 14:1-6

*See, nothing about wearing a new dress to church on Easter in this passage.



{Just in case you are a curious, visual person like myself, here's the dress... at least I was smart enough not to wear the zip-up-sports-wear-like jacket for the photos.  I kept that dress for a sweet forever too.}




4 comments:

  1. We may not be at the same church this Easter, but we will be joined in spirit by our "recycled" dresses from years past. And when I'm wearing my old dress, I'll remember your blog, and how Jesus came not to make us beautiful on the outside, by giving us fancy clothes to wear, rather He made us beautiful on the inside, by giving His Spirit to live inside us.

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  2. You are too precious, Amanda. Thank you for your rad realness. Love it and needed it!

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  3. Thank you for your willingness to share your heart. I enjoy hearing all your adventures, especially with your expanding family.

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  4. Thank you, Amanda!!! I loved this and needed to be reminded.

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