Growing up, on the Saturday before Easter, I’d sleep with sponge rollers in my soft, blonde hair. It was awful. Like having rocks for pillows.
My mom would let me pick out a new dress from Penney’s or Uptons to wear on Easter Sunday. Sometimes a matching bonnet. Other times an oversized bow. My favorite Easter dress was a white fluffy number with a full skirt decorated with purple ribbons. There were tiny bells sewn into the inside hem, so I jingled softly when I walked.
We’d take family photos on the front porch before going to the early service. It was one of my favorite times to be at church. We sang hymns you didn’t hear the rest of the year. Lord of the Dance. The Easter Song. Morning Has Broken. Because He Lives.
There was always a warmth to Easter. Sunlight poured through the stained glass windows. The sanctuary, adorned with white lilies and rich purple tapestries. And even if you didn’t make it to church all year, you showed up on Easter Sunday.
That’s because it’s a day for redemption.
Because a year’s gone by and we’ve screwed up. We’ve done wrong. We’re failed and flawed. But on that day, on Easter Sunday, we’re reminded that we’re free.
And so we wear white and we wake up early and we slick back our hair and shine our shoes and we pile into church. And as we sing those hymns, as the organ plays and the choir sings, we let the sweet notes of grace and glory wash over us.
It’s a beautiful feeling. When the burdens fall from your shoulders, the shackles from your ankles. When the weight you’ve been carrying is lifted gently away.
Easter reminds us how beautiful it is. To be forgiven. To be loved. To be set free. Forever.