Several years ago my then-teenaged daughter schooled me in the usage of the word “peeps.” There was basically one simple rule. I had to follow “peeps” with “yo.” For example:
“Where ya goin’, Mom?” “Just goin’ to Starbucks to meet my peeps, yo.” (And yes, peeps (yo) DO occasionally go to Starbucks. I should know (yo.) =)
But it’s a different kind of peeps (yo) I’m thinking about right now. I’m thinking of the little marshmallowy chick kind that make an appearance at stores everywhere in the weeks before Easter. I actually enjoy looking at them much more than eating them, but another member of our family can’t get enough of the little tweeters…..he has probably enjoyed this annual convection every year of his life, and then some…… he just loves Peeps! (yo).
My early Easter memories are full of jelly beans and green plastic grass, but mostly I remember….dressing up. Easter was the one time of year I was certain to be wearing a new dress, usually pink, yellow, lavender or some other pastel frilly outfit complete with white patent leather shoes and, according to some early photos, also a hat and………gloves. =) The hat would have one of those tight elastic bands that went under my chin to keep the hat secured in just the correct position, and the gloves…..well, I have no idea why, but they felt fancy and very, very special!
Such finery for simple folk. But this wasn’t just any church day. It was Easter Sunday! For Christians this is the Sunday to beat all Sundays…..the holiest of holy days…..it’s Ressurection Day! We would sing hymns like “He Lives”, “He Arose”, and “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”, while the message would focus on the power of the resurrection. In later years there would be elaborate dramas and musical productions to tell the story in new and different ways. So, so much energy, effort, creativity and hard work……to make this day the “Sunday to beat all Sundays.”
I’ve got a confession. I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to people trying to sell me things, especially through marketing and cultural manipulation. Case in point, there are no longer just Easter Peeps (yo), but also bunnies, and the madness extends to other holidays too! There are marshmallow Christmas trees and turkeys – all forms of Peeps (yo) desecration. As long as people are buying, people are selling….
So, wait…..if the commercial marketing of Easter drives me crazy, what about Easter Sunday? Shouldn’t the shiny shoes, pastel ties, Easter lilies and special service push on that same nerve? Funny…..but it truly doesn’t. I’ll have to think about that more in the days to come, but I really don’t have any red flags or hesitations when it comes to making this day of celebration as big, as grand, as meaningful, as special, as……fancy… as it can get. And I don’t mean with new clothes, shoes, hats and gloves (though the glove idea is kinda growing on me…..)
Those are all just cultural signals that something special is happening, and they change over time, thus turkey Peeps! (yo)
But the celebration I’m thinking of is so much bigger and grander and more meaningful than anything we can put in an Easter basket or wear on our bodies. I think the Easter celebration can’t possibly get too big or showy if we remember what it is we are celebrating, and we embrace the resurrection story, not only of Jesus conquering death and the grave, but how that extends to us as well. I am a Christian because of Easter. My faith, my hope, my love, my heart, my entire being is all tied to the event that this Sunday represents. As much as I embrace the truth that all are welcome at the foot of the cross and it doesn’t matter who we are or how we come or what we wear……all things that are truly true…..I also don’t hesitate to pull out all the stops when it comes to celebrating, either.
The next few days we will be visiting what were surely the worst days of Jesus’ life. It will be sobering, and heart-wrenching, and I hope revealing as we try to discover what messages there may be present for us today. I won’t feel like celebrating. In fact, it will feel more like mourning. But come Sunday……well, don’t be surprised if you see me in gloves!
If you haven’t made plans to gather with a Christian community this Sunday, I pray you will consider doing so. There is no better way to celebrate our common bond with Christ and with one another.
Have a resurrection party! I know that’s where I’ll be…. hangin’ with my peeps…….yo. =)