North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

March 27, 2013

Danielle Cater: Easter has purpose for spiritual families

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — Spring is in the air, Easter is just a few days away, and it is once again time for us to reflect on this exciting holiday.

While growing up, my dad was a Baptist pastor; he is now a missionary to India, so my love for the Easter holiday goes back to my deeply spiritual roots.

Easter seems to mean much more to spiritual families than it does to those who choose not to accept the spiritual side of life. That makes perfectly good sense since the holiday is based on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is the base of our whole gospel in the Christian faith, and without the death, burial and resurrection, we would be no different than any other religious group.

So, with the excitement of Easter upon us, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the fake grass in our Easter baskets and the chocolate bunnies, Cadbury eggs and Peeps. But the real reason for our Easter celebration is the life that is given through the death of Christ.

Many people dress up for Easter Sunday services. That may be because they only go to church on Easter and Christmas, but if you live life like I do, then there is no dress-up for Easter, except for in the Easter drama at church.

This is the second time in three years that we have done an “illustrated sermon” or an Easter drama on Easter Sunday at The Church Revived. We do several dramas and skits throughout the year and in each presentation, I am, inevitably, the devil (or demon or Satanic spirit).

After about the tenth play with me being cast as a creature of darkness, I asked the lady who writes all of our plays why I was typecast as Satan all the time. Her response: “You’re just so good at being evil.” So there you have it, folks — I use my evil side to portray the devil in every drama at our church, where I usually end up getting beat up, bruised up, bashed down and bloody by the end of the production.

Easter is no different. So for the second time in a row, my Easter dress-up outfit will be fiery red. Last time I had blood-red hair spiked out all over my head with black lipstick, and my character had the audacity to drink and smoke on stage. I can tell you that it was quite a shock to the family when I arrived for the Easter get-together decked out like Satan, while my daughters were in their pink and white dresses with their hair in pig tails and ribbons. Needless to say, those family portraits tell a story.

This year I will have a more conservative hair style for Easter, but will have vines of black lines drawn all over the side of my face and neck while trying to convince the audience to vote for Satan to rule their lives.

So while you are curling your hair or ironing the collar on your shirt this Easter Sunday, remember, some people have to be the devil on stage and will be putting on red feathered boas and drawing black marks across their faces.

I guess with the change in society, most people don’t go out and buy Easter dresses anymore — but if I weren’t in a drama this year, there would definitely be a nice, pastel-colored outfit laying out on the bed waiting for me to happily put it on that Sunday morning. It isn’t every day that a girl has an excuse to get new clothes, and I think we should take every opportunity that we have to get new shoes, purses or clothes in our closets.

Whether you do the new clothes or not, just remember to keep the real meaning at the center of your Easter celebration, and enjoy the day.