I'm still pretty new in my journey with faith and Jesus. Too new to be giving any kind of sermon, or biblical commentary. This isn't either. This is just me. And my thoughts.
Today is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, which culminates in Easter. Next Sunday, millions of people will attend church that don't normally go. People who go on Christmas and Easter. Or at least attempt to go, on one or the other, most years.
I'm not judging, the exact opposite actually. For most of my life, that was me. I went, first because I was made to, and later in life out of some sense of obligation. Because it's what "good people" do. At least on Easter and Christmas.
I'll never forget the stress I use to feel. To act the right way, say the right things, but mostly, to dress the right way.
Fashion has never been a strength for me. My entire life, it's been a source of great stress. And Easter Church services come with high expectations.
Especially after you have kids. The kids have to have new outfits. I think they are suppose to match and I think it's suppose to be something you have to iron.
I am suppose to have a new dress. It can't be white yet... or maybe it can be? I can't ever remember the rules of wearing white. Except the wedding thing. I always remember that.
It's suppose to be spring colors, definitely not my go to black. My work suits won't work either. It's suppose to coordinate with the kids outfits I am sure.
Church on Easter and Christmas never felt like it was for me. The expectations were high and I was always falling short and uncomfortable while I was at it.
I couldn't find my way to Jesus on those days because I was too busy readjusting a dress I hated and wondering if my shoes actually matched my outfit.
It wouldn't be until years later, when a way too casual preacher stopped us at the local Mexican restaurant and asked us to church.
He would ask a dozen more times before I actually showed up.
It wouldn't be until the first "regular" Sunday morning, that I walked into that church with half empty pews, and that same preacher stood in the aisle telling jokes wearing a weird tie.
It wouldn't be until that preacher turned and saw me, in my blue jeans and boots, and his face lit up as he said, "I'm so glad you're here!". And he meant it - jeans and all.
It wouldn't be until I sat among those people - some dressed up, but most like me, in jeans. There were some teachers, a truck driver, a few farmers, a butcher, local business people. Regular people.
It wouldn't be until I came to church in jeans, actually comfortable in my clothes and comfortable that those around me didn't mind, that I finally could hear about Jesus. That I could finally know and feel Jesus.
I know many of you will go to church next Sunday and many of you will feel like I still do on Easter Sunday - uncomfortable. I pray that you'll still be open to hearing the good news of Jesus.
But if you're like me, and you're distracted by your discomfort, I hope you'll come back. On a regular Sunday. In your blue jeans and boots. Because that church has got news worth sharing. A story worth knowing. A man worth following.
And it's worth coming back. I promise.
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Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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