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Today was Easter and I almost didn’t go to church. You might be surprised why.

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This morning was Easter. Well, it was Easter all day, not just this morning. I saw the sun come up. It wasn’t planned. I didn’t go to bed thinking, I really want to see the sun come up. 

Sunrise on Easter Sunday

The puppy woke up three times last night. And every time she woke up she had to go to the bathroom. The last time she went outside we watched the sun come up. Or we saw the colors as the earth rotated on its axis. Something like that.

I was so tired from waking up so many times with the puppy. I won’t go to church. I am too tired. But, my daughter wants to go, and I have to take her.

Jesus died on the cross on Friday, then there was Saturday, and then on Sunday he rose again. A big celebration. Sunday is the day Jesus rose from the dead.

And Sunday is the day of “The Easter Dress.”

I couldn’t find anywhere in the Bible where it said, “Though shalt wear a fancy pastel  “Easter Dress” and white shoes on Easter.”

Black is my favorite color. But, black on Easter Sunday felt a little morbid. I had a red dress, red wasn’t the right color, but it was a dress. I tried it on, but it was too small. Then I found a yellow sweater in my closet.  I bought the yellow sweater  when I have to teach color theory at school, and I dress as The Queen of Color. Yellow is an Easter color. The color of little ducks, and yellow peeps. I wore the yellow sweater, and a denim skirt this morning.

Does Jesus care if I wear a pastel dress or a black dress to church on Easter?

And I am twelve again visiting my best friends church, and I want to fit in. I don’t want the regular church attenders looking at me like I don’t belong, because I don’t understand the dress code. Like there is a cultural set of rules and I don’t know what they are.

I didn’t want to go to church because I didn’t think I had the right clothes to wear.

This morning I went to church. There were women wearing jeans and women wearing pastel Easter Dresses. There was a red sweater, and a black sweater. All sorts of clothes and colors.

As we sang songs celebrating Jesus, I realized that it didn’t matter that I didn’t have a new Easter Dress to wear. Even if every single women but me had a new Easter dress, it wouldn’t matter.

I can come to church in jeans or a dress, in red, blue, black or lime green.

Jesus died on the cross so we could have new life in him. Forgiveness for our sins and the freedom to be accepted for who we are regardless of what we wear.

When we met Jesus in the long line to get into heaven, he won’t be asking us, “Did you wear a pastel Easter dress to church on Sunday?” He will be looking to see if He knows us. I don’t think he has to ask us, “Did you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord? Did you believe in your heart that God raised me from the dead?” He will already know us. Jesus will recognize us right away. He will smile and greet us with open arms.

He takes us as we are, in our jeans or in our dresses. In your suit and tie or in your sweatpants. God knows our hearts.

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10: 9-10

(But I did have white shoes.)

Do you think it matters what you wear to church? Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    In the 50’s when I was still in a cast from my accident, I went to our local church in my jeans, walking with my crutches, when leaving the church after the service, the minister always takes time to speak to the congregation, he was most unkind in his comments to me for wearing jeans to the service. I didn’t think JESUS would be looking at my jeans, only my precious face coming to his house of worship. I still cling to that thought.

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Hi Mom,
      Jesus was probably up in Heaven crying when he heard what the minister said to you. Keep clinging to that thought, Jesus wasn’t looking at your jeans, just your precious face. A face I love too.
      xo
      your daughter
      Pamela

  • Iya Hannum

    Delightful friend, I’ve been meaning to reply all day… you were not alone- looking through old pictures with the family, I realized the dress I wore Sunday was the EXACT same dress I wore last year, and I almost let the “what will people think?!” monster keep me from going to church. Fortunately, God intervened quickly and reminded me it was me He was after, and not my exterior. And, by the way, I am glad you chose to come to bring your daughter- you both looked absolutely, perfectly stunning- because of what’s inside, though your outside was quite lovely, as well.

    <3

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Good Morning Delightful Friend With A Big Smile,
      I loved your dress, and had no memory of every seeing it before. With me as a friend you could wear the same Easter dress for years, and I would always think it was new.
      Maybe I didn’t remember because I notice smiles more?
      I am glad you came to church, and I am so happy I was able to come and bring my daughter.
      Jesus is risen, and that is why we sing, not because we have a new dress. Right Iya.
      Mind you I might sing soon, as my 365 days without buying any new clothes ends the end of April.
      Hugs to you.

      • Iya Hannum

        Absolutely, right :) Hugs to you as well!!

  • Kathy Storrie

    I wore the dress to church on Easter that i have worn many times for the past 8-9 yrs. Nobody noticed it was old but said how pretty I looked. I think you are right Pamela; it doesn’t matter what we wear to church. It’s Who we’re serving and worshipping that counts.

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Hello Kathy,
      You must have looked absolutely beautiful in your dress and your smile. Your love for Jesus shining through.
      Was your dress purple?
      All the best,
      Pamela

  • Mandy

    I don’t believe God who loved us enough to send His Son to die for our sins will disown us for wardrobe choices, nor should it really matter to anyone in church. Easter is ultimately about love winning not fashion.

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Mandy,
      You speak true wisdom.
      My insecurity about what to wear comes from members of a church I attended several years ago, when they questioned my clothing choices. I wore suits, or jeans. But then I rode a scooter to church. They wanted me to wear dresses.

      I know God loves me and accepts me.
      And you are right what I wear shouldn’t matter to anyone in church. Let love win.
      Thank you Mandy.

  • Michelle Salerno

    Awesome post! I wore a floral skirt I’ve had for several years, with a shirt to coordinate, that I’ve had for several years. My kids didn’t get a new dress – their dresses from last year actually still fit so that’s what they wore. Nothing new on the outside. But with all my children, there was that “I’m new, I’m His” on the inside that glowed right through those clothes from years before.

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Hey there neighbor, or a five minute drive away neighbor,
      So nice to have you pop in and tell me what you wore yesterday to church. You must have looked like a spring daisy, with your bright smile and your bright colors.
      Yes, if the dress still fits wear it.
      This is my favorite sentence in the whole wide world.
      “But with all my children, there was that “I’m new, I’m His” on the inside that glowed right through those clothes from years before.”
      Because what glows through is more important than what is worn on the outside.
      And a Happy Monday the day after Easter to you Michelle,
      Hugs to you.

  • http://mymidlifeproject.com Brenda Hook

    This post resonated with me. Very much. I grew up going to church every Sunday, back in the day when women didn’t wear anything but a dress to church. On Easter, I usually had a new Easter hat and even wore white gloves… with my black patent leather shoes. The tradition continued into adulthood — minus the hat and gloves. Now I attend a contemporary United Methodist church, where jeans are the norm. Yet yesterday morning I agonized over what to wear. I’ve gain weight recently and most of my clothes don’t fit. Like you, Pamela, I have a favorite black dress… and like you, I didn’t think it was appropriate. I could hear a gasp from Heaven (my mother, no doubt. I’m sure it wasn’t God.) when I briefly considered wearing my black jeans or yoga pants. I ended up wearing a purple peasant skirt with a white linen blouse… and was almost over-dressed when I got there. Even our pastor wore his “usual” jeans. I’m glad I went…and glad that I could feel God’s grace.

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Good Morning Brenda,
      Thank you for stopping by to say hello and comment.
      Hopefully your mother wouldn’t gasp if you wore your black jeans to church, or your yoga pants.
      Maybe once a mom gets to Heaven she is so content hanging out with Jesus, she would only see your heart, and that you still love Jesus. She wouldn’t even notice what you were wearing.
      If God sees our heart, like he saw the Heart of Saul, when he picks a King, he won’t notice our black pants, or our jeans.
      Thankfully, it doesn’t say in the Bible you can only get into Heaven if you wear a dress or a suit to church.
      I am glad you went to church too. There is enough room for everyone in Heaven. Even the people who wear black yoga pants.

  • Barb Proehl Filiatrault

    I had some of those exact same thoughts – I almost went clothes shopping on Saturday. Instead, I preserved that money for the things we need and I went to Easter service in the same tired old clothes I’ve been wearing for several years. Black jeans, a nicer top. Pulled my hair back, threw some earrings in and off I went. As I sat in service, I looked at the many people up front leading a full house in worship – there were jeans, dress pants, sweathers, pullover tops, button down shirts. I fit right in. In fact, I even had a couple people notice that I looked really nice – amazing what a new hairstyle can do!!

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Hello Barb,
      How funny we had the same thoughts. I did go clothes shopping on Saturday, to buy new shoes for my eleven year old daughter. She only had sneakers to go with her dress. A new dress we bought after Christmas when all the sales were on.
      The same tired old clothes might seem new with a new hairstyle. I will have to remember that.
      All the best,
      Pamela

  • Winnie Marylou Moyer

    We don’t wear easter dresses in China :-) I didn’t like as a kid wearing tights on easter or as I got older the struggle to find a pretty easter dress…you are right, Jesus doesn’t care about our pastel dresses :-) I’m glad you went to church…so many here don’t even know what easter means….

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Hi Winnie,
      What do Chinese Christians wear to church on Sunday?
      Yes, I never liked tights either. My stomach always felt squished. So happy we have the freedom to worship, never mind what we wear to church.
      Prayers for you over in the land of rice.
      Hugs too.

  • Anastacia

    I almost didn’t buy a new dress this year. We always buy the kids new clothes because this time of year is when they sell some of the prettiest dressy clothes. This year my husband went with me to buy me a dress. It is white with a gray over shirt. I felt elegant in it. However I’m not sure how long it will stay white. :-) I look at it as a great opportunity for a grown up to play dress up if they want to.

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Hello Anastacia,
      How fun to have a new dress, and how nice your husband went with you. Yes, a great opportunity to play dress up. I saw your family photograph on facebook. The dress looked lovely on you. But, with your smile, you could wear anything and be beautiful.

  • Christa Sterken

    Well said. I used to love getting Easter outfits. This week? I wore black, I didn’t have many brighter clothes at the moment. My teen said I looked morbid :) I like black though, but for Easter I pulled out my slightly uncomfortable but very purple sparkly shirt. And jeans. And then I went and rejoiced with the Lord. He didn’t mind at all

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Good Morning Christa,
      Thank you.
      You would be a shining light even in black with the smile you wear on your face. Do you have a photograph of your purple sparkly shirt?
      Rejoicing with you yesterday and today.
      Hugs for you and prayers for a smiley day.

      • Christa Sterken

        Why thank you sweet Pamela. Nope, I was into a tshirt and ready for a walk as soon as we walked in the front door home :)

  • http://www.joanhallwrites.com/ Joan

    When I was growing up, we always dressed up for church. On Easter, I got a new “Easter Dress.” Later, I began to notice how many people only came on Easter and of course they were “decked out” in their finest. We never saw them again until the following year.

    I’ve only bought one new outfit for Easter in the past several years. And the only reason I did that was because I have very few dresses – I usually wear pants. This year, instead of adding an extra Sunday morning service to accommodate the extra number of people, we had a Saturday evening service. My husband and I attended that one. I wore jeans. Many people wore jeans – even the pastor.

    I don’t believe God looked down on us for doing so, nor do I believe He cares what we wear (I believe in dressing modestly, of course.) He cares what is in our hearts.

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Hello Joan,
      When I was little we went to church on Easter and Christmas, and I always had a new dress. At least I think I did.( Mom, if you read this comment, I know you will remember better than I do.)

      Your Saturday Easter service sounds warm and inviting. And I agree with you Joan, beyond being modest, God cares more about our hearts.

      I hope you have a happy day filled with joy Joan.

  • Abiola Olaleye

    I’m with you on this, Pamela. (I used to detest going to church because I didn’t have fine cloths…you’ve given me an idea for my next post)

    In my church yesterday, there were a lot of new and beautiful cloths, pretty headgears, shoes, etc. Some were in ‘uniform’ -matching their outfits while some were simply dressed. Lots of dancing and jubilation and it really got me thinking about the essence of it all. I believe Easter is about L.O.V.E. How much of that love have we succeeded in showing unto others? What is the state of our heart and our personal relationship with our savior?

    It really doesn’t matter what we have on at any point in time.

    • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

      Good Morning Abiola,
      One day I want to come to your church and worship with you, dancing with jubilation.

      I know what we wear doesn’t matter, beyond being modest, but sometimes I forget. Hugs to you and much love.

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