Last month a friend of mine posted on Facebook that her family of 6 decided not to purchase new Easter attire but instead are using the money they would have spent on one of three nonprofit organizations who care for orphans. The theme is to go “blue” instead of “new.” Their entire family – including their recently adopted adorable little girl – will be wearing blue on Easter Sunday. Many in their church have joined the cause.
I grew up as most of you did. Easter was a big deal. New dress, new shoes, new bow, the whole nine yards. Even when I worked at J.C. Penney during college, Easter was big business. And I thought nothing of it. Nothing but the best for Jesus, right?
We celebrate Easter because we celebrate Jesus’ conquering death so we can have life. The resurrection is a BIG DEAL, and we should celebrate it with all of our hearts!
But this year, after God’s kind of messed with my worldview, and after reading my friend’s post, I started seeing the lunacy of the consumerism on that day.
Most of our closets are bulging with more clothes than we can wear, and we think nothing of buying more in the name of Jesus, while those he actually told us to care for are going without.
At the final judgment, according to Matthew 25, Jesus isn’t going to say, “You looked mighty fine in that dress on Easter Sunday! Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom!” Nope. We hope he’s going to say,
Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ (Matthew 25:34b-36)
(Or, he might say something different. Check out Matthew 25:41-46 for that response.)
I’m not going all legalistic on you and telling you not to buy new Easter clothes. I am challenging us all to think carefully, though. Do you need a new dress? Do your children need new attire, or do they have something in their closet that will work just fine? Could you wear something that’s already in your closet? Could you purchase Easter clothes for your children at a resale store and donate the difference between that and what you would have spent?
What would please our Savior – the one we’re celebrating – the most?
If you decide to forego new Easter outfits or buy used and donate the difference, here are some ideas for you.
- Arkansas Baptist Children’s Home
- Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (collected in all Southern Baptist Churches, money goes directly to missionaries in North America)
- Purchase an Easter outfit for a needy child or family or widow in your church
- Other local or worldwide children’s charities
What about you? Will your family go “blue” instead of “new” this Easter?