A young Greg Reynolds poses in front of his older siblings for an Easter photo.

A young Greg Reynolds poses in front of his older siblings for an Easter photo.

ISSUES OF FAITH: Easter is a day to celebrate

THE FADED BLACK and white photograph is a little older than 60 years.

We’re standing in the front yard smiling.

My big brother and I are wearing suits; my older sister is wearing a dress.

We only dressed up like that once a year — every Easter for my family’s annual pilgrimage to church.

I attend church more frequently now, and I will definitely attend church on Easter next Sunday.

And I’ll wear a suit. I don’t wear a suit very often, but it just seems right on Easter.

The current dress code in most churches in the United States is much more informal than it was a few decades ago.

Wearing your Sunday best on the Olympic Peninsula might mean wearing a Carhartt shirt and a clean pair of Levis — and there’s nothing wrong with that.

We might try to biblically defend our informal attire by affirming that “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

And surely it isn’t a coincidence that heart rhymes with Carhartt! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

The best biblical attire to wear is spelled out clearly in 1 Peter 5:5, “clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another …”

I don’t want to worry you — or disappoint you — I’m not on a campaign to change how people dress on any given Sunday morning to attend church.

I’m just telling you that I’m wearing a suit on Easter, and I’m doing it to make a statement.

Easter is special.

Easter is not like any other Sunday.

Easter is a day to celebrate.

Easter is a day to rejoice.

Jesus rose from the dead, and if I could, I would not only wear a suit, I’d dance. But I’d scare people if I danced.

I do plan to sing.

Loudly.

I can’t imagine an Easter without belting out the old Easter hymn, “He Arose.”

The children are going to sing a fun song titled, “Jump, Shout!,” and I’m presuming they’re going to do both.

A young duo is going to sing David Crowder’s “Happy Day,” accompanied by a banjo.

Banjos are a happy instrument.

And a group of young adults is going to sing Lauren Daigle’s powerful song, “Still Rolling Stones.”

Yes, we’re going to sing — and jump and shout.

And I’m wearing a suit.

And, of course, I’m going to preach.

I was advised recently to not use the word preach.

People don’t like to be preached at, I was told; use the word talk instead.

Sigh. OK, I’m going to talk.

But maybe talk a little more emphatically on Easter because “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching [talking] is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14 ESV).

Easter! “And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:2-3).

That’s right. Jesus rose from the dead.

Jesus is alive.

It’s a day to celebrate — so I’m wearing a suit. And a smile.

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Greg Reynolds is pastor of Joyce Bible Church. His email is [email protected]

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