I happened to read a story written by a senior citizen in which she reminisced about her childhood. She was quite adept at painting a picture of her youth with words. It was fun to read her accounts of playing hide-and-seek with her siblings and cousins and the joy she experienced playing on her front porch. She wrote of a church that was across the street from her home. Then, suddenly, I read something that she intended as joyful, but it caused me sadness.
Their Sunday Best
This author had included a picture of her mom, dad, herself, and her siblings, all dressed up and standing outside in “their Sunday best.” She wrote that her parents had a photographer come around the same time to their home to take a picture of them each year. From her picture, it was exactly how my parents made us “dress up” on Easter Sunday.
Each year Mom would tell my sister and me that Jesus gave His very best for us, so we should meet Him in our very best. This made sense, but I hated wearing a tie as a boy full of energy. Anyway, when Mom corralled us, we’d pour into our red 1956 Chevy and drive into town to our church to celebrate the Good News of Christ’s resurrection with our congregation. At some point during our pastor’s Easter sermon, he would quote the verse that has been my joy and strength for half a century:
“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”Matthew 28:6–7
Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go
As a boy, I didn’t fully grasp the Good News, but I could tell it held a power that knit our small congregation together. My Mom and Dad hung on to those words – I didn’t understand the depth of the pain each had experienced from the death of their mothers and life as children during the Great Depression. Still, each adult was filled by the Holy Spirit with strength and renewal of commitment to Christ Jesus, their Savior. But this wasn’t true for the author of the story I was reading.
Paraphrasing her account, “We’d get dressed up in our Sunday best. The photographer would take our picture, and then we’d get back in our play clothes and enjoy the spring day.” Her family did not go to church, not even on Easter Sunday. Across her street were people that knew the power of “He is risen” but she and her family were just dressed up with nowhere to go. I don’t think I’ve ever read a sadder story.
How many do we know that are like the five virgins that had dressed in their finest but found themselves dressed up with nowhere to go? (Matthew 25:1-13)
Whether your local church performs a cantata or your pastor preaches his Easter sermon, let’s all remember that if we have placed our faith in Jesus, we are brothers and sisters with hope and a future because Jesus Christ has risen, just as He said.
When my wife and I were first dating, we went to a concert by “The 2nd Chapter of Acts.” I hope you enjoy their “Easter Song.”
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
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