Easter, the twin celebration to Christmas. If not for Christmas, we couldn’t have Easter. Without Easter, Christ’s birth is insignificant and derails the Christian Faith. So, both should be equally celebrated and reverenced. They each deserve attention, intention, and heart-focus. Not, just for a day, but at least, for a season. The events we celebrate did not all happen IN a day. They climaxed ON a day.
As children entered our home, I found myself less thoughtful of the events themselves: there were more people under my roof needing my attention. Less alone time, “me” time. Less thinking about Jesus/God, more thinking about people and details. Interruptions frequent. Less ability to put two coherent thoughts together, never mind whole sentences!
I began to tell myself “Don’t miss it!”, “Don’t miss the heart-time” this holiday should elicit: time for contemplation, meditation, spiritual flourishing, awe and wonder of God’s actions done for my eternal benefit! Thanking Jesus and centering my thoughts on God and His goodness.
I didn’t want the season to pass my Spirit by.
I longed for the truth of the celebration to penetrate and change me;
to make a difference in me and my relationship with God.
These Christian holidays can rejuvenate my love for God, spark growth, and renew my soul. So, I try, as hard as I can, to focus in the weeks leading up to the twin events with conscious intention to influence my soul.
Last week, the Easter season began: Noticeable on foreheads everywhere. I didn’t grow up in a church that celebrated Lent or Ash Wednesday. Yet, I can see its purpose, if like other religious practices, it’s not just a “to do”, but, a connection to Jesus and the events leading up to Easter Sunday. Forty days of focus on our sins and remembrance of the path Jesus walked and lived before His crucifixion and resurrection. It mimics His forty days in the wilderness prior to His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
Although Lent isn’t found in the Bible, the ashes rubbed on foreheads on Ash Wednesday reverberate from Genesis 3:19: “For dust you are and to dust you shall return.” And Job 42:6, “Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Lent is a time where one is to reflect on his life and sins, the ones Jesus died for. Repent of those sins and remove blockages keeping faith from flourishing.
The self-denial practiced during Lent, is to share in Jesus’ practice of fasting in the wilderness. It’s, also, an homage to Jesus’ suffering: wounded, beaten, spat upon, denounced, unclothed, crucified, etc.
Sarah Willis’s words resonate with me, in her article for Crosswalk:
“Lent is a time that offers us an opportunity to come to terms with the human condition we may spend the rest of the year running from and it brings our need for a Savior to the forefront. Like Advent, Lent is a time to open the doors of our hearts a little wider and understand our Lord a little deeper, so that when Good Friday and eventually Easter comes, it is not just another day at church but an opportunity to receive the overflowing of graces God offers.
Don’t Miss It!
Don’t miss the annual opportunity to stop, reflect, consider, act upon Christ’s miraculous work on the cross. The Old Testament Feasts and holidays were designated for the Jewish people to remember what God had done; vividly remember, with heart-felt response. Celebrate His power, provision, and providence.
Institute a fast from something, read Lenten devotionals, write prayers in a journal, copy scripture – chapters/books, concentrate on Easter/Lent scripture readings, use a Lent wreath/candles & devotions to commemorate the days (Ann Voskamp Cradle to Cross wreath), Resurrection Eggs, create a way for you and your family to remember our lostness in sin and God’s design for our relationship restoration: Jesus’ work on the cross. Be Intentional!
Celebrate for a Season!
Days come and go so quickly: Intentions and reality separated by miles. All you thought the day would contain is thwarted and distracted. Don’t put off celebrating Easter to a day or weekend. You will be disappointed when it doesn’t turn out as you hoped. Start now, in small or big ways, work a plan to make this Easter season meaningful to your heart and soul.
I remind my heart and yours….
Don’t Miss It!
Don’t Miss It!
Don’t Miss It!
Intent on NOT missing it,
Feel free to share with a friend(s).
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