Easter is the most spiritually significant holiday in the Christian year… or at least it should be. However, it tends to lose out to Christmas, which is much more commercialized. Maybe that’s a good thing. It means that Easter can hold a spiritual significance without being overtaken by the secular culture. Yet, I think it’s time for Easter to have its due.
I was talking with some folks and we got nostalgic about Easter. We were remembering how we used to get dressed up for Easter. We got a pretty new dress and wore white gloves. And there was the Easter Bonnet. It was early in my own growing up that those things went by the wayside, but I was always an old soul. One of my favorite movies (aside from “White Christmas”) is “Easter Parade.” The movie, staring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Ann Miller (my favorite) was itself nostalgic for an even earlier era of the Ziegfeld Follies. If you haven’t ever seen it or haven’t seen it in a long time, it’s worth a look. Turner Classic Movies usually shows it around Easter. It has a wonderful score by Irving Berlin. One of the highlights is the song “Easter Parade” which begins,
“In your easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it
You’ll be the grandest lady in the easter parade
I’ll be all in clover and when they look you over
I’ll be the proudest fellow in the easter parade”
Of course the celebration of Easter Parade is secular (Irving Berlin himself was Jewish). Still, the nostalgia got me thinking about reclaiming Easter as holiday to be celebrated in a big way.
SO… I’M BRINGING HATS BACK! I long for the days of Easter bonnets. I also inherited my grandmother’s hat collection. So, I challenge the ladies to wear an Easter bonnet and if you don’t have one, I will bring my collection to share for the day. Men, you are welcome to wear hats too.
Now, I know that the teenagers are eye-rolling (wait, they aren’t even reading this). Yet, I think that this is one small way in which we can reclaim the day as special and worthy of celebrating.
Now, the other way we enhance the celebration is my remembering just what it is that we celebrate. I find that Easter is so much more meaningful when I have immersed myself in Holy Week. The power of the empty cross is made more significant when we have journeyed to it with Jesus. So please take advantage of the Holy Week opportunities detailed in this issue of the Plumbline and on the website. If you cannot make it to worship (I know that this is spring break for many folks), then read the story again – John chapters 18 & 19.
This is the most important part of the story. Let’s honor and celebrate it!