Several years ago I realized that I wasn’t really making time for Easter. Not really. I took the time to prepare for Easter morning, buying the girls matching dresses for church, and that sort of thing, sure. But what about my heart?
Considering the amount of time we spent using Advent celebrations to prepare for Christmas, God put it on my heart that Easter deserved more, too. After all – the reason Jesus was born into this world was to die on that cross as a sacrifice. What is Christmas without Easter and vice versa? They need each other.
The kids and I have been celebrating Twelve Days of Easter ever since -the twelve days preceding Easter Sunday. It’s like Advent, but for Easter, and like Advent it can be too easy to get caught up in crafts and activities and find yourself too busy to really focus on Him. All it takes is a little balance, though.
3 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Easter
1.) Pray – Declutter Your Heart & Mind
My husband who is currently attending seminary classes recently preached on Spring Cleaning Your Heart– how to take an intentional look at your heart, asking God to reveal the sin clutter that we may have let gather in the corners and closets of our heart for long enough to forget that it’s there.
I loved the way he put it – just like we can eventually become immune to a pile of clutter in our homes, we can get to the same point with sin clutter in our hearts.
But if we spend time in prayer, regularly, daily, asking God to reveal it to us–He will. God will open our eyes to what we need to purge, and furthermore, He will help us do that, too. Set a timer or play an instrumental song and devote that time to prayer. This is something that we should do regularly, but something we can make a focused effort on as we are going into Easter.
We have a better appreciation of Sacrifice, Resurrection and Redemption when we are more keenly aware of the sin purging/heart cleaning process. We can do that because of Jesus!!
2.) Purge – Unclutter Your Home and Your Days
I don’t know about you but I can’t work in a cluttered space. Well, I can, but not well. We homeschool and I blog and there are many days where I can’t do either of those things until we’ve picked up the house because I just can’t think or focus.
Likewise, I often find that our cluttered space often keeps us from God’s work.
Have you ever been hindered from inviting someone over after church because the house wasn’t clean enough? Have you been prevented from lending a helping hand because you were so far behind on your schedule? I have! Friends, how can we serve Jesus this way? We need to be able to BE light and BE Jesus to others and that takes time spent together some how or another.
Or maybe you have a different struggle. Maybe you find that you too highly value your stuff, or that you collect too many things, or that you work too many hours or any number of other things that might keep your days or your home cluttered, preventing your from fully being used by God.
As you spend time in prayer asking God to reveal clutter in your heart, ask Him to also reveal clutter in your day or your home, or your attitude toward either of those and ask Him to help you to work on that.
3.) Participate – Focus on Him
We hold a Maundy Thursday Tenebrae service at our church. Some churches like to do a Passover Meal. In addition to the Easter morning church service I encourage you to attend a service of some kind that focuses on Jesus’ sacrifice before you celebrate Sunday morning on his resurrection. Or, if not, perhaps have a special meal in your home as a family, watching a passion movie together, reading from the Bible, praying a special prayer.
The Easter story has two halves. The Sacrifice and the Victory over Death. We need both.
Others ways to focus on Jesus and what he did for us might include celebrating 12 Days of Easter with your family, doing service projects in your community, organizing a community outreach, watching or putting on a passion play, or any number of other things.
Don’t let Easter come and go without truly taking a few minutes to focus on the cross and the grave that preceded the empty tomb.
Friends, I pray that you have a blessed Easter! And I pray that you are blessed by the process of preparing for Easter, too. May you be a light that shines Jesus to those around you during our most important holiday – He is risen!