I woke up last week with Easter on my mind and thought about a new dress and an Easter bonnet. My family wasn’t religious, but my mother always wanted me and my sisters to have new clothes for Easter, right down to our underwear. She always said that Easter was a new beginning, a time to start over, and we must dress in all things new.
My mother never went to church on Easter, so I wondered where she got her theology, but looking back on her words; I can’t help but think that she was on to something.
I wish that I could talk with her today about how right she was and share with her all the blessings that Easter brings into my life; a time to remember when Christ came into my heart, a time of forgiveness, joy and, most of all, peace. She was baptized at 95, and I held her hand as tears rolled down her face. When she was 97, I saw her smile as a young pastor offered her Holy Communion in the nursing home.
Yes, my mother was buried in new underwear for her journey home to meet her Savior.
I am sure that each family has its own Easter traditions with dinner and fellowship. I think of my mom and the wonderful meal she would prepare as we all sat around the table in our new clothes and she would warn us not to get food on ourselves before someone could take a picture.
Easter season is a time when we celebrate that our Lord and Savior is alive, a time when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, a time for new life and new beginnings.
We continue in the Christian life the same way we begin, by believing in Jesus. The more we learn of Christ, the more we place our trust in him. The more we place our trust in Jesus, the more we receive. The more we receive, the more we can share for the glory of God, believing that through the cross we will also find resurrection and new life.
This year, I bought and wore red underwear for Easter in memory of my mother. Red was her favorite color, and I bet it will bring a smile to her face knowing that all things are new.
Patti Austin is president of the Women of the ELCA executive board.
Photo: The Easter dress photo is used with permission from Minh-Kiet Callies and Creative Commons.