I used to be the main one screaming at the top of her lungs about the commercialization of Easter. Ranting about how church folk, some of whom I hadn’t seen in the pews since Christmas or New Year’s Eve, use the day solely as an opportunity to show off their fancy, over-priced clothes instead of worshipping the risen Savior. I’d say, “don’t Black folk know the REAL reason why we get so fly on Sundays.” (research off-day for slaves) I’d go on and on about how department stores and companies take advantage of us.
Oh and I can’t forget all the long, circular arguments I’d have about the pagan origins of the “Easter” holiday. It was so bad that I spent several years choosing to call the day that represents the second biggest event in my faith, “Resurrection Sunday” and looking down my nose at anyone who dared to mention a bunny or an egg.
And I was right. Not for the looking down the nose thing but about all the “facts.”
But here’s what I soon figured out: There was no reward for being right. There was no angel appearing to me at midnight on Good Friday applauding me for figuring out all the nuances of the Christian religion (as if!). In fact, what was the point of harping about all those details and trying to intellectually prove something that required spiritual BELIEF in the first place? Duh.
So I got over it.
Then I had MaKayla and I really got over it.
I got so over it that last weekend, MaKayla attended her first Easter Egg Hunt. Yes, it was at a church. Yes, they shared the story of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. All of that is still very important to me. But for real, you know what was even more awesome? The light in her eyes as she showed me the eggs she’d gotten. The tiny arms around my neck and the sweet kisses on my cheek as she thanked me for taking her to the “Eeeser Egg Party.”
I think I was blessed with my own personal resurrection this past Saturday. I died to all my prideful thoughts and self-aggrandizing pontifications about the holiday. I repented of all the times I chose to sit in judgment and not extend grace and love to others in regards to the holiday. And finally, inside of my heart, the true meaning of the HOLY-day arose to take the place of all that.
So yeah, baby girl will be rocking her new sundress and blinged out sandals on Sunday. In fact, I now kind of like the idea of this being the one Sunday when some folks will wear all their new threads. A Sunday where it doesn’t matter what you wore the days before or where you wore it. The newness of it all.
Because quite frankly, for those of us who do believe, that’s kind of what Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection really means. The filthy rags of our lives are brand new. It doesn’t matter what we did before, what we looked like before. Our new garments (or even our freshly-pressed old ones) are symbolic of the new life we receive as a result of what He accomplished in those three days.
So go ahead, y’all! Get fly this Sunday! Or not. It doesn’t really matter. But if you do, consider for a moment whether the newness of your outside matches what is happening on your inside. And if it doesn’t, no worries. Get your praise on and then holla at your girl offline.
I got the hook-up. 😉
Tracey Michae'l is a writer and educator based out of the Philadelphia area. She is a wife to William and a mother to a beautiful two-year old little girl. You can find her on the web at www.traceymlewis.com.